Haggai 1-2, Psalm 118
Haggai’s prophetic ministry takes place as God is preparing to restore Israel towards the end of Babylonian captivity in the year 520. We have exact dating because of the clear relationship between Haggai’s ministry and Darius’ reign over Persia (Haggai 1:1). So, Haggai’s ministry is much later than the prophets we have read before, save Daniel, who likely died a few years before Haggai’s prophecies. Today I want to note that one of the most powerful Old Testament statements on the vanity of our pursuits of wealth is found in Haggai 1:6. In fact, reading it was like a splash of cold water to my face. The idea of drinking but still being thirsty, eating and being hungry, and making money that will one day be lost has echoes of Ecclesiastes. God then declares not only the emptiness of those pursuits, but why in judgement the Lord takes away rain and vegetation: the Lord’s glory has been ignored while Israel pursues wealth for themselves. God is angry that His people care so much about erecting their own houses, while the Temple meant to be a sign of God’s wonder before the nations lies in ruins. May we see grace in God withholding produce, for God is teaching the centrality of pursuing God’s glory over accumulating barns or cars for ourselves. All of our wealth will fade, but the glory of God will shine forever.