After over a year of marriage, one of my favorite things to watch on cable television is HGTV. For those unfamiliar, HGTV stands for “Home and Garden Television” and broadcasts “a variety of how- to shows with a focus on home improvement, gardening, crafts, and remodeling.”
While I am not a handy-man, I enjoy the remodeling insights and real estate side of many of the shows. I’m not alone in this; HGTV often has more viewers on average than the most popular cable news networks. There’s something about remodeling, flipping, and selling houses that is entertaining to many people. Mostly because they can relate to an investment in a home.
The same was true for Israel when they returned from captivity. Unfortunately for them, this investment into their own homes was at the neglect of more important things. When the Israelites finally began to return to Judah, they were so focused on putting their lives back in order that they forgot to rebuild God’s temple. So, God sent His prophet Haggai to remind the people of their spiritual responsibility (Haggai 1:1-10).
God rebuked His people because while they had nice, paneled houses, the temple was in ruins (Haggai 1:4). They were so focused on rebuilding their own lives and re-establishing their own status and comfort that they neglected the most important thing: the glory of God (Haggai 1:7-9).
While we have no physical temple to rebuild and are not under the same covenant as Haggai’s audience, we can learn from this. We must not be like the Israelites of Haggai’s day who were so focused on building their own lives that they forgot about rebuilding the things of God. It doesn’t take long to slip into habits which allow our spiritual life to come to ruins.
Likewise, it’s easy to neglect spiritual rebuilding in the areas of our lives that may need it. While HGTV give us tips on home remodeling, only the Bible supplies what is needed for soul remodeling. We just have to be willing to follow the guide.