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Haggai 1:4

posted Jun 8, 2012, 9:38 AM by David Gerhart
"Is it a time for you to be living in your paneled houses, while this house (Temple of the Lord) remains a ruin? Hag. 1:4

This is a "hard word."  Spoiler alert: if you carry signs for a cause or for a Party, you will be challenged.

If the paneled house is a picture of life in the world, then the Temple of the Lord is our spiritual life.  The body of Christ (our church) is in tatters.  Who's terrain are we fighting for?  Secure boarders, defense of marriage and schools that teach theology?

Do we experience distress when we see many professing Christians passing days and seasons full of hate and bile in their mouths over politics, right to life, LGBT equality...  Taxes this, jobs that, business another.  Health care, medicare, whatever-are... The presumption that Christianity defines activism.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." Mat 23:23-25

Wonder at the simplicity of Jesus; where he lived, how encountered people.  Where his scorn was directed.  Scribes, Pharisees and Money Changers, vendors in the court of the Temple of the Lord.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."  Mat. 23:27-28

Pictures to contemplate, bearing a timeless message:  Stop feathering beds. Stop asserting morality on free men (because God made men free to fall from grace, live in sin.)  Jesus proclaimed:

"... the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, ..." Is. 61:1

If these thoughts are offensive, nothing else need be said.

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10.