The Lord says, “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much but have harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough. You drink, but you never have your fill. You put on clothes, but you are not warm. You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it …. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you have brought home I blew away. Why?”, declares the Lord Almighty, “Because my House is in ruins.”
Over twenty-five hundred years ago, these words were spoken to people facing an economic crisis. They had money, but what looked sufficient turned out not to be enough. They brought home wages, turned a profit in business, collected returns on investments, but God blew it all away. Inflation does that, like a purse with holes in it.
For many, this will be a cold winter as limited supplies of heating oil are rationed and nearly unaffordable. As one former New Hampshire candidate for the United States Senate reminded voters what faced them this season, “We have to choose between heating and eating.”
Three centuries before the prophet Haggai delivered God’s message to the governor of Judah, the prophet Elisha was inside of the capital city of Samaria during a siege. The King of Aram was at war with the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Unable to beat them on the battlefield, he’d laid siege to their capital, causing a famine in the city. With supply chains cut off, “a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver and a cup of seed pods for five shekels.”
Israel’s King Joram sent a messenger to Elisha to say: “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?” Elisha responded, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what He says: About this time tomorrow, about 7 quarts of flour will sell for a shekel, and 14 quarts of barley for a shekel, at the gates of this city.”
Is God powerful enough to end inflation overnight?
Yes. He did it in Samaria almost three thousand years ago, solving a crisis so bad that mothers were killing and eating their own children. God scattered Aram’s army overnight with a supernatural fear that caused its soldiers to believe that they were being attacked by armies of Israel’s strongest allies.
The inflation we suffer today is a result of global Covid-19 policies, our own government’s policies, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and China’s economic siege against the West. Does not the Lord Almighty have the power to move on the hearts of the kings throughout the world? He does. Like channels of water, God moves leaders of nations to do His will. So why do we suffer because of the decisions of governments?
Haggai’s message to Judah’s governor answers this question. “Why? Because the Lord’s house is in ruins.”
What used to be a grand temple in Jerusalem is now the church of Jesus Christ. Each of us are a temple of His Spirit. Collectively, we are His Body, living stones that make up His House built upon the foundation created by the Cornerstone. Is the House of the Lord presently in ruins?
It was in Jerusalem in the 6th Century B.C. His Temple was being neglected while “each of you is busy with his own house.” God responded to them with: “I called for the drought.” He caused their economic problems, and Haggai told them why. They responded in the manner God had planned.
In Jerusalem, the governor, the high priest, and “the whole remnant of the people (about 50,000 of them) obeyed the voice of the Lord their God.” God was pleased with this dramatic change of heart. He responded, “I am with you.” The Lord then, “stirred up the spirit” of the people to come and “begin the work on the house of the Lord.”
Jesus addresses this same subject with this Truth: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.”
Haggai added, “The Word of the Lord: Be strong all of you, and work, for I am with you. My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear. In a little while, I will once more shake the heavens and the earth. … I will shake all nations. … I will fill my House with glory.” Then, He reminds us that “the silver and gold are mine.”
Surely, the Earth is the Lord’s and its fulness thereof. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Let’s take to heart God’s statement through Haggai: “I struck all the work of your hands. … Yet you did not turn to me. … But from this day on, give careful thought to the day the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid. … From this day on I will bless you.”
A cure for inflation? Advance the Kingdom of God through the building of His Body, His living temple–for He no longer lives in a temple built by human hands.
Among the Proverbs there is this one: First finish your work, then build your house. What is our work? Jesus calls us out, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few!” Paul writes that in all of our work we must work as unto to the Lord, not for men; to be a workman who is not ashamed; and that God gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service to build up the Body of Christ. What is Christ’s Great Commission? To go into all of the world and make disciples of all nations.
Another cure for inflation is giving. Paul tells us, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. … He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge your harvest of righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous.”
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse of My temple. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Finally, a cure for inflation is to Ask. Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened for you. Your Heavenly Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name. Ask and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. It is to the Father’s glory that you bear much fruit to show that you are my disciples. Have faith in God. If you say to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea’ and don’t doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Advance His Kingdom first, then attend to your personal affairs. Give generously, even when you are in financial need. Ask in faith that He is able to give you what you need. Three powerful cures to our inflation crisis. Use them, and see God bless you from this day on.
Bible references: Haggai 1 and 2; 2 Kings 6-7, Matthew 6, 7, 9 and 28; Proverbs 21 and 24, Ephesians 2 and 4; 1 Peter 2, Psalms 24 and 50; 2 Timothy 2; Colossians 3; 2 Corinthians 6 and 9; Acts 17; 1 Corinthians 3 and 6; Malachi 3; John 15-16; Luke 6; and Mark 11.