The more I read the Old Testament the more I realize how deeply entwined it is with the New Testament. Everything discussed in the Old is brought forth with a deeper revelation in the new. With this in mind, I was recently reading through Haggai.
If you haven’t read this short book in a while, let me fill you in. It’s about God speaking through Haggai to tell the people to build His temple. They had already built up their houses and were living well. But, they had only built the bronze altar from the temple and nothing else.
A New Home
This was a group of 50,000 people who were the first ones to return to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. These people coming back spent most, if not all, of their lives in Babylon. That would be like me or you going to another country we have never been to because our ancestors are from there.
They wanted to feel comfortable. They wanted to rebuild a destroyed city. They wanted to live good. But, God told them to build His temple first.
This makes me think of something Jesus said. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus told His hearers to seek the Kingdom of God first. Before everything. Everything includes worrying about what you will wear, eat, or drink. These are basic needs to survive. Jesus said that when we seek God’s Kingdom first then He will give you everything you need.
Priority of Needs
This was true in Haggai’s day and in Jesus’ day. It is still true today. We often find ourselves looking for the perfect shoes to match our outfit. Or, the best restaurant to eat at. We seek out the soda (pop) we crave. We are concerned with our own basic needs (desires) because that is what we are told to do. Pop psychology tells us to fulfill our basic needs—worrying about God will come later. Jesus says fulfill our relationship with God first and our basic needs will be taken care of.
I don’t know about you, but I need to hear this message more often. Working as an associate pastor getting only a monthly stipend, I find myself worrying about bills, food, and water. But, I need to remind myself that God has everything under control. The only thing I need to worry about is pursuing His will for my life and living out His word in my daily life. I urge you to do the same.