It seems like every beginning of every week I go through the same thing in varying degrees caused by some external circumstances. I get overwhelmed with all that must be done in the coming week. I lament the fact that I am not as disciplined in the things I need to be disciplined in. I don’t have a good schedule down. I have to go grocery shopping. How are we going to pay for things. What am I going to cook. The list could go on. I don’t know if its some sort of scheme from the Devil to get me side tracked from worshiping God on Sunday or what. But this Sunday, I was convicted.
Sunday night I was really struggling and feeling overwhelmed. So much so that I missed the exact passage the guy was speaking on and turned to a different chapter and verse which apparently was exactly what God wanted me to see. I read it and then decided to re-read it the next morning for more clarification. The book was Haggai. I had accidentally been reading in chapter one (not where the preacher was) but fell upon a very intriguing verse. After talking to my seminary student husband about my findings, even though I may be taking some “devotional” leniency, I gained an answer to my woes.
“You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; You drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm….Why? Declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.”
The people of Israel had just been brought of Babylon and God had commanded them to rebuild the Temple. They started but grew tired of it and gave up. Meanwhile, they began fixing up their own homes. God was angry about this. The Bible said God asked Haggai, the prophet, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in paneled houses, while this house (Temple) lies in ruins?”
When Haggai told the people and they finally got back to what God had told them to do, it said the people “feared the Lord” and the Lord told the people, “I am with you declares the Lord.” In chapter 2 God spoke again about the former glory of the Temple that the people were looking to restore and gave them a promise that one day, “The latter glory of the house shall be greater that the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.” That was a prophecy of the coming of the the Lord Jesus. When they obeyed, the gained a glimpse of what was to come according to the Covenant.
Jesus then makes each and every one of us into a Temple for His dwelling today. What a beautiful picture. But how it can be marred when I am more concerned with “my paneled house” than with the Temple of God. Why do things seem overwhelming? Why do I always feel that way at the beginning of the week with seemingly insurmountable things in front of me? Why do I feel like I come up empty, barely able to drink from the cup, never fully satisfied. Because my “temple” has become more important than God’s Temple.
That Sunday night was the Lord’s Supper. It was a beautiful reminder of the washing of the blood of Jesus as the final sacrifice in the Temple. The one who split the curtain in two. He is now my mediator. The one I can take my burdens to and just lay them down. Because of Jesus, that is all the “work” I must do for the new Temple. He has already done it all.
The Israelites did not have Jesus. They had a hope of Him. We have Jesus. We have Him to the fullest. So when God says, “Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the Covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.” Because of Jesus I can do the “work” of His Temple with delight. I can be full off of his food and be satisfied from His cup. I can be warm, and look for much and find much. I can rest in Him. I can grow in knowledge and love of Him. And, in this place He will “give peace”.
Moments of Gratitude: # 422- 442
- Reuniting after 4 lonely days without him
- Him with lots of stories to tell from his trip
- Good girl time and talking with a sweet friend doing crafts
- A stocked kitchen
- Grocery shopping together
- A good meal together
- Pumpkin/apple picking with friends- Great Saturday in beautiful weather- Making memories! (I can mark it off my Fall Bucket List!)
- Warm chili on a cool- Mom’s recipe was a hit
- God’s forgiveness at the Supper Table
- A loving, forgiving spouse
- A job even though other doors were closed
- Friends to laugh with and share meals
- Using all our Walmart gift cards almost three months later
- A check in the mail that we over looked which will pay for Matt’s new starter for His truck- Blessing and Providence of God! PTL!
- Tasks to accomplish
- Walking together after dinner
- Catching up with family over the phone
- Him cleaning the kitchen after dinner