Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD. Haggai 1.13
The malaise which afflicted the Israelites in Haggai's day may have been spiritual yet it manifested itself in material terms. While the temple lay in ruins, people built fancy houses for themselves. Needless to say this spoke volumes about where their priorities lay. To get their attention God sent a famine and then he sent his prophet, Haggai. To their credit and through the leadership of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest, the people got the message and shifted their focus onto rebuilding the temple.
How does that episode speak to us in a day where, for all the problems associated with Covid 19, global conflict and the cost of living crisis, many continue to enjoy material affluence while the church crumbles? We may feel powerless to halt the national decline, yet what about our local gathering? Are we satisfied we have our priorities in balance? What does the state of the church to which we belong say about our relationship with the Lord? Do we need a wake-up call? Perhaps we have had one... how shall we respond?