The Expectant Mother's Bible Companion
Audience: Leaders of the Israelites
Haggai was raised up for the specific purpose of helping the Israelites evaluate their priorities. God speaks of a dissatisfaction, an emptiness in the lives of the people that they can't seem to shake. The answer is for the people to put God first in their lives. In this specific time the people needed to stop busying themselves with their own lives and get the temple rebuilt.
This small message, written 2,500 years ago, is as timely for us as it was for the Israelites. We still struggle with making God the first priority in our lives. We still neglect things we know we should do because of the busyness of our lives.
As you prepare for your newborn, understand that not all of the busyness filling your day is bad. Diapers need to be changed, babies need to be fed. The answer is not in neglecting some good stuff to do other good stuff. The real answer is to place God first, to follow his lead and serve his purposes. Then it will become clearer what activities should fill your life, and what activities are only serving to make you busy.
Unsatisfied (Haggai 1:5-11)
God explains to the Israelites the problems, emptiness and dissatisfaction they have been experiencing are directly related to the lack of God's house being a priority. Solomon gave similar advice in Ecclesiastes, that without putting God first nothing will ever satisfy.
If you are finding the experience of being pregnant or parenting your newborn isn't leaving you with the feelings you expected, perhaps it is time to do a heart check and see if God is still your number one priority.
Spreading of Defilement (Haggai 2:10-14)
As Haggai moves through his explanation of the way things become defiled, we need to look beyond the physical objects he is describing. He says in the same way the defilement is spread, anything these people do is defiled because of what they have done. In effect, Haggai is telling us to be careful because not honoring God with one part of your life will affect the other parts.
Becoming a new mother is a natural time to evaluate your life and decide where you want to change and who you want to be. As you make these decisions, be sure to keep honoring God as the central priority of your life. When you put God first, everything else begins to fall into place.
Questions for Reflection:
1. Family is a priority, but God must be first in your life. How do you balance meeting the needs of your family with putting God first?
2. God didn't just complain about the people's actions, he challenged them to do better and encouraged them to do what they know is right. In what ways is God challenging you to do better now?