I must confess that I don't really spend alot of time reading the minor prophets in the bible. I just don't want to work that hard to gleen the meaning. But years ago I read a devotional on Haggai which explained what now seems obvious about one of the signficances of that book. You see Haggai was charged by God with the task of explaining to the people that the reason they were not being blessed was because they were not prioritizing God.
When they had first returned from exile they were going to re-build God's temple but challenges came their way and years later they hadn't gotten around to finishing it. They had, however, managed to finish all their own homes. Apparently God was tired of waiting for them to figure it out so he sent Haggai to explain it to them (He is nice that way). They responded in faith, finished the temple and recieved God's blessings.
I often think about that book when I am feeling "too busy" to stop and spend time with God. Those times when I don't think I have time to stop are the times I have learned I need God the most. And when I find time for Him first He helps me find time for all the rest.
This year our family verse is "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well". Exactly what God tells the people in Haggai. As I meditate on this I am amazed at how many places in the bible I have noticed this similar teaching. Put God first. I didn't think to jot them all down but here is the one I came across today from James 4:7 "Submit yourself, then, to God...Come near to God and he will come near to you...Humble yourselves before the Lord and He wil lift you up."
It has me thinking that maybe this is an important concept since God repeats it so often.
Can you think of any other scriptures that communicate this message?