The Book of Haggai begins with an uncomfortable conversation between God and his people. God must remind the Israelites they’ve lost focus. Sixty years have passed. The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem forcing the Israelites to leave their city and homes. Now, they’ve finally returned and begun the difficult work of rebuilding their homes and restoring their fields.
But something is not right. The Temple of God lies in ruins and worship of God has been replaced by other priorities.
To their credit, the Israelites attempted to rebuild the Temple when they returned but only got as far as the foundation. Sixteen years later and their enthusiasm to restore the Temple has given way to the necessity of shelter, food and personal comfort.
But this shift in priorities was sabotaging their faith. The Temple was a symbol of God’s presence. A reminder that he is the center of everything—the spiritual heartbeat of this great nation. Yet, it lies unfinished and the Israelites have no place to worship God.
God intends to restore his presence. He will reignite the Israelites’ faith so they can be an example to all nations of trust, devotion and worship. However, this means a shift in priorities. The Israelites will need to acknowledge that God is right and pause rebuilding their homes and fields. They will need to return God to the center of their lives.
Over the course of this week, we’ll watch the Israelites make a decision to listen to God, discover how he honors their initial movement and see him encourage them along the way. In your Chair Time today, reflect and invite God to be the center of all your life.