â€œYe have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.â€ (Haggai 1:6)
This biting description of a frustrating lifestyle, penned by one of the Jewish post-exilic prophets, is both preceded and followed by this appropriate admonition: â€œThus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your waysâ€ (Haggai 1:5-7). When a professing believer somehow never seems to have enough and his money bag seems filled with holes, it is time for him to consider carefully his ways before the Lord.
After all, our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is well able to supply all our needs. In context, Haggai is rebuking the people of Judah for tending to their own welfare and neglecting the work of God. â€œIs it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled [paneled] houses, and this house [that is, the unfinished temple in Jerusalem] lie waste?â€ (Haggai 1:4).
Herein is an eternal principle. Jesus said, â€œYour heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things [that is, food and drink and clothing]. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto youâ€ (Matthew 6:32-33). If these necessities of life areÂ notÂ being provided, we urgently need to consider our ways. Are Godâ€™s kingdom and His righteousness really our first concerns?
We often quote the wonderful promise â€œmy God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesusâ€ (Philippians 4:19). But we must remember that this promise was given to a group of Christians whose â€œdeep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality,â€ because they â€œfirst gave their own selves to the Lordâ€ (2 Corinthians 8:2, 5). HMM