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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

CONSIDER YOUR WAYS

Haggai 1:6:7 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; consider your ways.

King Darius allowed some of the Jewish people to return to the land of Israel to live and to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. They were under the leadership of Zerubabel, as governor, and Joshua, as their high priest. Work was begun and much of the foundations and walls were restored. However, the work had stopped, probably due to the indifferent attitude developed by the people.

The people had become engaged in work to their own benefit. They built houses, started raising families, and planted and harvested crops. Their ways of life had selfish motives. They did not have time for God's ways. They abandoned God. Therefore, God abandoned them.

Haggai, a prophet, was sent with a message from God. The message was delivered to the people of Israel, especially to Zerubbabel and Joshua. The accusing message delivered to them was that they had let the temple lie in waste while they spent all of their time building and caring for their own households. They plant and reap crops, eat and drink, make clothing, andwork in temporal jobs to earn money. They were doing all these things but without having satisfaction in doing so. They wanted greater harvests, more to eat, more to drink, more clothes, and greater wealth. Their physical efforts were consuming all of their time with no time left to labor for God. Therefore, God, through Haggai said, Consider your ways!

The message of Haggai continued. If the people did not change their ways, there would be no rain from the heavens; there would be a severe drought causing crops to fail; food and wine, would soon be used up and lacking; cattle would perish; their labor would have no reward.

The message seemed to succeed. It was on the first day of the sixth month when the message was delivered, and by the twenty-forth day of the same month, the people, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, became stirred up, motivated, came together, and resumed rebuilding of the temple of God. They had considered their ways of life and found them lacking. What they lacked was the inclusion of God's ways.

Let us consider our ways; observe our own daily lives. Does our ways include God? Do we notice God lacking in the lives of ourselves and many others that we know? If God's ways are not included in our lives, maybe it could be for the same reason that the people of Israel did not have time to consider God's ways. Could it be that we are spending all of our time on our personal ways and leave little, or no, time for the ways of God?

God through Isaiah said: For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9). Most of our lives are spent on making physical provisions for ourselves and for our families. It is easy to get caught up in daily routines that contribute only to our physical well-being.

The solution is to put God in your life daily. God is to be worshiped on the Lord's Day, but He is not to be forgotten for the rest of the week. Proverbs 3:5-6 says that we should, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. From this lesson, we should be able to hear God's admonition to each of us: "Consider Your Ways!"