We are easily distracted! A phone ping, a noise outside, getting to the top of the stairs daydreaming and then trying to remember what you were fetching!
Haggai is prophesying at a time when the returned Israelites have been distracted for… 18 years. They had come back from the exile to rebuild the Temple and the walls around the city and got distracted. They were discouraged and disappointed by what they had achieved – 3D living is pretty depressing – distracted, discouraged and disappointed!
In v3 Haggai asks “Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory?” The previous Temple had been destroyed 66 years ago, so there were people around who could see what had been achieved and thought it was pathetic. The new temple was lacking the gold and silver splendour of Solomon’s Temple. They were mourning for the glory days. It can be easy as we get older to look back at the past and what the Lord did then and be disappointed with the now. Memories are great if we use them for the right things. Don’t live in the past.
Asking “is it nothing” is the comparison game. We compare too much – children, cars, jobs, salaries. In John 21 Peter asks Jesus about John and Jesus says “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” God knows. He wants us to run our race and not compare ourselves to other people’s races.
In v5 Haggai reminds them of God’s covenant as the Israelites came out of Egypt – that was a time of amazing miracles. They are serving the same God. “My Spirit remains in your midst”
Distraction, discouragement and disappointment be gone! Because as Ray Pritchard put living in the past, downgrades the present, forgets the future.
Haggai is prophesying a shaking of the land, nations and treasure but God is at work! The Spirit remains and is at work.
What will happen will be the latter glory and greater than the former glory.
So let go of the past, look up to the LORD – He is the Lord of Hosts, sovereign over everything and look forwards. God is on the move.