In the ancient world, orators were rock stars. Their rhetoric established cities, changed laws, and started wars.
In today’s world, motivational speakers occupy the same role, and they get paid big bucks for their words. The best motivational speakers easily command six-figure fees for every speech.
The prophet Haggai was one of the Bible’s great motivational speakers. He gave his messages for free, but their value was beyond any price imaginable.
Under his ministry, a project that had stalled for sixteen years was resumed and completed. And it wasn’t just an ordinary project, it was the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple.
Years after the Babylonian exile, a remnant of Jews returned to Jerusalem to reestablish their city and rebuild the temple of the Lord.
The work was hard, the resources sparse, and the opposition great. In great discouragement, the workers suspended the project and began building their own houses.
Then Haggai came with some messages from the Lord, delivered during a four-month period in 520 B.C.
He called Israel back to obedience and back to their true priorities, and he motivated them to finish the task of rebuilding God’s house.
We often find life is hard, resources sparse, and opposition great. In discouragement, we sometimes reverse our priorities and fail to do what God most wants us to do.
We put our comfort ahead of God’s cause. Haggai’s message is: Consider your ways, cast off discouragement, put first things first, and finish the task assigned to you.
The priority of finishing God’s work should come before the priorities of our own comfort and convenience.
“Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways” (Hag 1:3-5).
Be strong, all you people of the land, and work. For God is with you (see Hag 2:4).