Pursuing the Right Priorities
In the post about the effects of priority we saw that wrong priorities produces wrong outcomes, whereas right priorities results in God’s blessings. It is, however, worth it to consider the timing of these two events.
The prophecy is given on the first day of the sixth month. The people respond to it about three weeks later, on the 24th day of the sixth month, by starting to rebuild God’s house.
Some might say that a delayed response is disobedience. However, a delayed response is better than no response.
Then three months after reconstruction starts, on the 24th day of the ninth month, God promises to bless the people because of their obedience. Note that there is a three-month delay. The people did not receive an immediate blessing. Instead they received a delayed one.
It might be that God wanted to make sure they would follow through and take his work seriously. Or perhaps he was testing them. Would they continue to serve him and make him a priority even if he didn’t bless them?
What if they got discouraged and gave up after a week or a month? What if they stopped obeying him on the 23rd day of the ninth month? If so they might have missed his blessing by one day.
I wonder if sometimes we give up too soon in obeying God. Do we do the right thing for a while, but not seeing any change, we revert to our old ways? If so, we may miss God’s blessings.
An important point, however, is that receiving God’s blessings is a bonus for doing what he says, not a given. Our motivation to obey God shouldn’t be to earn a reward.
Instead our obedience should be an act of love and worship. May we never lose sight of that.
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.