The consequences of neglect … the promised blessing for diligent obedience…

Neglected House

I drove by an elegant old house the other day that must have been grand and beautiful in its day, but sadly suffered the consequences of neglect! Lawn overgrown, shrubs in a sorry state, windows broken, shutters hanging crooked, porch sagging, paint peeling, and who knows what the inside was like! … The pathetic consequences of neglect.

Reminded me of the story told by the prophet Haggai that I read during my time of “coffee with the Lord” yesterday and today…

The once grand and beautiful temple a pile of ugly rubble because of systemic and sustained sin! Seventy years of exile had come upon God’s people as the consequences of their sin. But God in His mercy and faithfulness had brought His people back home. The command was to rebuild… But the sad reality was self-occupation and neglect…

God challenged His people through His prophet, Haggai… “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? … Look at what is happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes… Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house! Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored!”

And here was God’s promise…

“Get to work, for I am with you! My Spirit remains among you…so do not be afraid! … In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place, I will bring peace. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

And they obeyed! They moved from self-centered neglect to obedient diligence and this was God’s promise: “Think about this 18th day of December, the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid! Think carefully! I am giving you a promise now… from this day onward I will bless you!” (From Haggai 1-2)

I jotted it in the margin of my Bible today… “This is what happens when God’s people move from self-centered neglect of the things of God to diligent obedience in serving Him!” … Blessing! Abundant blessing!!!

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