A Verse From Haggai
“You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes” (Hag. 1:6).
Looking For Some Financial Advice?
The Word of God contains many sound financial principles, which, if followed, would keep us as Christians from the pressures of indebtedness, and the pain of poor financial planning. Things like (1) preparing for the future, (2) living within your means, (3) not incurring excessive indebtedness, (4) giving God the tithe (“first fruits”), (5) responsible stewardship of resources, (6) the benefits of budgeting, and (7) the sin of slothfulness are themes found in Scripture as God's words of "financial advice". Let the Lord be your financial "advisor". Many people do not know that Jesus, when He was here on earth, had a lot to say about wise management of money. Read Matthew 6 sometime.
"I Will Rebuke the Devourer"
Here in Haggai 1:6 we have one such financial principle. God, through Haggai, tells the people that because they have not honored Him, He has not blessed them. We tend to think of God’s blessings only in terms of what He gives us, instead of what He guards us from. By that I mean things that cause catastrophic financial setbacks—loss of employment, unexpected bills, medical emergencies—even things like major repairs to your automobile. In Malachi 3:11 God says that if we are faithful in tithing, He would do two things: (1) open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings upon us, and (2) "rebuke the devourer". What good is it to have a huge income if you end up wasting it all on credit card payments? Far too many Christians are losing their financial battles because of the “devourer”.
Putting Your Money in a Bag With Holes in it
So Haggai comes along and paints two quite graphic pictures of the financial plight of God’s people.
First, they “earned wages only to put in a bag with holes in it” (verse 6). In the top and out the bottom. They were losing their money as fast as they were making it. There are a lot of families with huge incomes that are under terrific financial stress because their spending habits are out of control.
Second, they “looked for much, but indeed it came to little; when they brought it home, God blew it away” (verse 8). They had no more financial stability than the chaff of wheat that is blown away by one good gust of wind. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Both of these illustrations underscore the insecurity of earthly “riches”, and are downright sobering. Christians who put more trust in “things” than they do in God should be warned. Unless we honor God, and apply His principles of sound stewardship, we will soon discover how quickly God can punch holes in the bottom of our purses, or blow away our entire life’s savings. So let us resolve, as God's people, to handle our money God's way. Stop buying things you can't pay for. Start investing in things that will count for eternity, and laying up treasures in heaven.
A Personal Note
The past few "blogs" have been samples taken from the book I am currently writing: a DAILY BIBLE STUDY GUIDE. There will be 365 daily readings, a Bible study for each day of the year, covering the entire Old Testament. It will be available in both hard copy book format or as an e-book to download to kindle. When I get the actual publishing date from Amazon, probably this fall, I will let you know. Pray that God will use this Daily Bible Study Guide to educate, encourage, and energize God's people.