It had been a beautiful week in Pupperville,that was until the blizzard. “Blizzards are suppose to happen in January and February, not April.” Randy Smith said to his wife as he prepared to head over to the church building. “Things were starting to show signs of turning green.” he continued, but now everything is white again. We must of got two feet of snow last night.”
As Randy pulled into the church parking lot, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. “This can't be!” Randy exclaimed at what he saw. Even though the parking lot had already been plowed, Randy still had to shovel a path to the nearest door so he could get to his office and make a phone call to the police station.
“It's Green.” He said when Sergeant Halfway answered the phone. “Well, uhm,” Halfway stammered, “Things this time of year usually do turn green, out side of last nights blizzard that is.” You mean you already know about it?” Randy asked a bit puzzled. “Of course I do.” Halfway went on to explain, “It happens every year.”
“Well,” Randy said, “This is the first year I have ever seen it happen. And if Harold wasn’t in the monastery I would blame him for it.” “What are you talking about?” Halfway asked when he heard that a bit puzzled himself. “I was talking about the church building.” Randy answered, “What are you talking about?”
“I was talking about spring” Halfway replied, “And the fact that we will soon be seeing GREEN grass and green leaves and … Did you say the church building?” “Somebody painted green graffiti all over the church building.” Randy said. After a short pause, Sergeant Halfway asked “Who is this? Is this some kind of April Fools Joke?”
“This Is Randy Smith.” Randy said, “And this is no joke. It's even worse than what happened at the Peterson's.” “Oh,” Halfway said almost in shock, “What happened there?” “Didn’t you hear?” Randy asked, “Harold’s room mysteriously turned into a trash heap after it was cleaned.” “Wow!” Halfway exclaimed not knowing what else to say. “And now the church building is being painted on.” Randy continued, “What will be next? If it wasn’t for Harold being gone I would have blamed him but this is a real stumper.”
“When did it happen?” Halfway asked. “It must have happened during the storm.” Randy explained, “All the foot prints were filled in.” “Have you told the police yet?” Halfway asked. “You ARE the police.” Randy said in disgust. “Oh, yeah.” Sergeant Halfway laughed, “ I am. I'll send someone over right away.”
Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. "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. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
Haggai 1:3-9 (ESV)
God's chosen people were suffering, but why? Haggai looks for an answer and receives a response from God “My house is in ruins.” But who do you suppose would do such a thing? Sometimes it's those who know better. Take for example the following:
- At that time Hazael king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and took it. But when Hazael set his face to go up against Jerusalem, Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred gifts that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah his fathers, the kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred gifts, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent these to Hazael king of Syria. Then Hazael went away from Jerusalem. - 2 Kings 12:17-18 (ESV)
- And the bronze altar that was before the LORD Ahaz removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of his altar. And the covered way for the Sabbath that had been built inside the house and the outer entrance for the king he caused to go around the house of the LORD, because of the king of Assyria. - 2 Kings 16:14,18 (ESV)
- In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, "I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear." And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. - 2 Kings 18:13-16 (ESV)
- And Manasseh built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem will I put my name." And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the LORD said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. - 2 Kings 21:4-7 (ESV)
Here are some thoughts to go with these verses
- Everything is God's (We're just entrusted with it.) - 1 Corinthians 10:26 For "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." (NLT)
- Mark 12:29-31 says Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: `Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these." (NLT) – Do we love God enough to take care of what He has entrusted with us? We are not only to Love God but others as well and that means taking care of them as well.
- We (people) are God's temple - Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple. - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NLT)
- We can, by our activities ruin ourselves and others. - And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Romans 14:15 (NLT)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you let what belongs to God go to ruin? Remember He owns it all.
- Do you, by your actions, ruin others?