God doesn't tell us to pull down our own houses but He does call us to prioritize our worship of Him and love of others.
Reference: v.4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" (NIV Bible)
Explore: Haggai the prophet is speaking to the people of Judah words from God. While they are caring for themselves and seeking their own needs, the house of God is left in ruins. It's interesting that God is not condemning the people because they are caring for themselves, He is just asking them to check their priorities.
Application: So often we get our priorities around the wrong way. Ultimately we are all so self-driven that we do tend to take care of our own needs first before we look to helping other people, or helping build the kingdom of God. However over and over again Jesus demonstrated to us the importance of fulfilling the greatest commandments: God first, then others. God does not instruct us to always leave the dregs from the bottom of the barrel for ourselves but I think He knows that we will always need more encouragement looking out for Him and others than we will need assistance in looking out for our selves. What is in ruins around you? A relationship? A culture? A neighbour? We all need to work at building God's kingdom first, and then our own mansions here on earth will not seem so important.
Prayer: Lord, I know that I am often selfish. You always put us first, so much so that you gave us your only Son. Thank you. May I learn from your gracious example. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.