Wednesday, February 10, 2010

what God deserves and demands

stack of lumber Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.

Haggai 1:7-8


Once again, God calls the Jews to get back to the task of building His temple in Jerusalem. There has been an agricultural and economic recession among the people. God takes credit for it (Haggai 1:9-11). He tells the people to repent of their materialistic ways which He has brought to nothing and instead to concentrate on His worship. And He will be worshiped, even if it means withholding from them as they have withheld from Him. Covenants certainly have a painful side to them.


What God is asking for is a renewal of their since and full attention in worship. And He draws all focus on Himself since they would not. There were two reasons why they needed to heed this call and get back to work on the temple. They are God-centered reasons.


The first reason to get back to the task was to please God. This was the covenantal reason. When God took pleasure in their work of building His temple, they in turn would find happiness, peace, blessing, and fulfillment. That was the way God had set up things with Israel through Moses and the Law so long ago.


The second reason was to glorify God. This was the worship reason. God is the only being in the universe Who deserves and demands worship. He is the only One with “glory” and should be glorified. In the context of Israel’s relationship with God under the Law, this came through obedience and sacrifice. And for now, Haggai’s call to build the temple meant just that. They had not obeyed. They had not sacrificed. God could not be worshiped and neither could He be happy with them until they did so. God deserves our full obedience. His Word should be followed. God deserves our worship. He should be glorified in our lives.


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