by Dick Onarecker

Missed Understanding and Misplaced Priorities
Dr. Dick Onarecker
Haggai 1:2-14; 2:3-9; Malachi 1:6-7, 10, 13-14; 2:2, 17

The prophecy of Haggai is a call to the rulers and people to resume the building of the temple after the years of interruption and delay. Haggai ruthlessly exposes the false but prevalent view of God's work being secondary; that it must wait for the solution to the people's economic problems. Speaking through this prophet, God told the people that their economic problems are a judgment from God because they neglected God's priorities. When the leaders and people respond to God's appeal, they receive His assurance of His resources and restoration.

God promised His people that when they learned to put first things first, the latter glory in His temple would be greater than the first. The temple would not be greater. The glory in the temple would be greater.

Are we like the people to whom Malachi spoke who did not even know the evil that had entered in?

In Malachi 1:6, God says, "... O Priests, that despised My name. And you say, Wherein have we despised Thy name?" In verse 7, God continues, "You offer polluted bread upon my altar; and you say wherein have we polluted thee?" God continues by saying "If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is that not evil? And if you offer the lame and sick, is that not evil? You just try offering those same things to your employer, or to your government. Will they accept your offer of stuff that you would throw away as garbage?" God reminds them in 1:10 that the things they do in God's name are being done for their own personal gratification and reward. They're not doing what they do for God. They are seeking their own gratification. God speaks harshly to His people and says in verses 13-14: "You have brought Me those things which are torn, and lame, and sick as your offerings. Do you think that I should accept these things? ... Cursed be the deceiver who has been entrusted with valu ...

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