Thus Says the Lord

I’m not sure this should be a blog post. More like a quick Facebook update or even a Tweet. So I’ll give you some background.

Some time ago I picked one verse from each book of the Bible to learn. Some were easy, like Joshua 1:8 and Jeremiah 29:11. But when I came to the minor prophet of Haggai, I struggled. As Chuck Swindoll put it in his overview of the book, “Haggai had an important message for the Jews who had recently returned from exile.” In other words, the book seems highly specialized, directed to a certain people, at a specific time, for a limited purpose.

You see, the message Haggai delivered was that the exiled Jews who returned to their homeland in order to rebuild the temple, needed to get busy and do what they had come to do.

In all the book, the only line that seemed to me not to point directly to rebuilding the temple was this: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Consider your ways.’ ” (1:7)

As it happens, it’s a perfect verse of warning. From Swindoll again:

The Jews who emigrated from Babylon to their original homeland of Judah faced intense opposition, both external and internal. Ezra 4:1–5 records the external resistance to the project of rebuilding the temple. The enemies of Judah first attempted to infiltrate the ranks of the builders, and when that didn’t work, they resorted to scare tactics. Haggai, on the other hand, focused on the internal opposition they faced, namely from their own sin. The Jews had thoughtlessly placed their own interests before the Lord’s interests, looking after their own safety and security without giving consideration to the status of the Lord’s house.

Looking after their own safety and security without giving consideration . . .

I watched a video today with the unfortunate title that asked the question if the US is running out of food. The answer is no, but the hoarder demands are greater than the usual, predictable buying patterns of the populace, so those responsible for the supply, the distribution, and the sale, are simply having a hard time keeping up.

I’ve maintained for two weeks now that things will soon calm down. I mean, hoarders can’t add more to their piles of hoarding, can they? Maybe so.

In that same video, the producers said we are not a nation in want of food. Our problem is that we waste food. The stat was 30-40% of food purchased ends up in the landfills. That’s kind of horrific.

When I saw that stat, I did wonder how much of the food that people had bought in a frantic panic, will end up being tossed. I mean, as the video pointed out, we aren’t eating more than we were, and we don’t have a smaller supply of food then we have had. So we have people buying food they don’t need and may not eat.

I think the verse in Haggai is appropriate: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Consider your ways.’ ”

Of course, there are other ways we should consider: our Wall Street greed, our Hollywood excess, our angry political battles, our attitude toward all human life, our moral and ethical standards, our unfair treatment of people who aren’t like we are. These are not specialty issues that some members of society have while the others can self-righteously point and judge.

No, we all need to consider our ways. How did Pastor Swindoll word it? “The Jews had thoughtlessly placed their own interests before the Lord’s interests.” Have Christians thoughtlessly placed our own interests before the Lord’s interests? If so, we need to consider our ways.

Published in: on March 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,

6 Comments

  1. Hi Rebecca! Thank you for offering your views of the virus situation through a Biblical lens. I agree that America’s problem in relation to material goods is rarely ever scarcity but excess. The 30-40% food waste statistic is startling because I never think that my family and I waste that much food, but nevertheless, I’m sure we are also contributors to that statistic. Haggai 1:7 is certainly convicting for me. It makes me ask if I’ve been approaching God with a grateful heart or a whining one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Convicting for me, too, Macy.

      Yes, the amount of waste stunned me. And yet, even though I think I carry many of my mom’s depression-era habits, I end up throwing away more food than I like. It’s not something I’m proud of!

      I feel so overwhelmed at times by how specifically God addresses the issues of today through the Bible. He’s so good.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I think we’re on the same page (again). God doesn’t like competition. Think of how Israel suffered for their idolatry, how other nations were destroyed for theirs.
    Yesterday our pastor preached about how each of the plagues of Egypt was a blow to an Egyptian “god.” And here we have attacks on our “gods” (idols) – money, sports, entertainment – much of it has been taken away.
    Are we listening?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! Thanks so much for sharing the essence of your pastor’s message!

      Yes, I think we’re on the same page. People who believe the Bible tend to be on the same narrow path. 😉

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ever since this virus Covid_19 hit us, I saw the warning in 2 Chronicles 7:14. I won’t write it, as you probably learned that as I did.It is appropriate because we have turned our backs on God and now we have to face dark, difficult times and maybe, some will be pushed back towards God. We are all in this together in a more thought-provoking way that wartime, I believe.
    For Christians, it is a time to spend more time with God, to plead for mercy and ask for forgiveness. If God senses our humility, he may”hear our prayer and heal our lands(including USA and Canada).
    God bless you and keep well Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jane. I agree that this virus hits home so it seems to have a greater impact than sending people we love into danger. This virus is no respecter of persons. Any race, gender, ethnicity, rich or poor can contract it. The young may think they won’t die from it, but no one knows if there are long term affects, any permanent harm to the lungs. It makes us all sit up and think about what God wants us to think about. And we don’t have the usual entertainment things to distract us from it.

      God’s care on you, too, Jane.

      Becky

      Like


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: