on Haggai 1 :9
Ye looked for much - Ye made great pretensions at first; but they are come to nothing. Ye did a little in the beginning; but so scantily and unwillingly that I could not but reject it.
Ye run every man unto his own house - To rebuild and adorn it; and God's house is neglected!
on Haggai 1 :9
Ye looked - , literally "a looking;" as though he said, it has all been one looking, "for much," for increase, the result of all sowing, in the way of nature: "and behold it came to little," i. e., less than was sown; as Isaiah denounced to them of old by God's word, Isaiah 5:10. "the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah," i. e., one tenth of what was sown. "And ye brought it home, and I blew upon it," so as to disperse it, as, not the wheat, but the chaff is blown before the wind. This, in whatever way it came to pass, was a further chastisement of God. The little seed which they brought in lessened through decay or waste. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. God asks by his prophet, what He asks in the awakened conscience Psalm 39:11. "God with rebukes chastens man for sin." Conscience, when alive, confesses for "what" sin; or it asks itself, if memory does not supply the special sin. Unawakened, it complains about the excess of rain, the drought, the blight, the mildew, and asks, not itself, why, in God's Providence, these inflictions came in these years? They felt doubtless the sterility in contrast with the exceeding prolificalness of Babylonia, as they contrasted the "light bread," Numbers 21:5. the manna, with Numbers 11:5. the plenteousness of Egypt. They ascribed probably their meagre crops (as we mostly do) to mere natural causes, perhaps to the long neglect of the land during the captivity. God forces the question upon their consciences, in that Haggai asks it in His Name, in whose hands all powers stand, "saith the Lord of host." They have not to talk it over among themselves, but to answer Almighty God, "why?" That "why?" strikes into the inmost depths of conscience!
Because of My house which is waste, and ye run - literally, "are running," all the while, "each to his own house" They were absorbed in their material interests, and had no time for those of God. When the question was of God's house, they stir not from the spot; when it is of their own concerns, they run. Our Lord says, Matthew 6:33. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Man reverses this, seeks his own things first, and God withholds His blessing.
"This comes true of those who prefer their own conveniences to God's honor, who do not thoroughly uproot self-love, whose penitence and devotion are shewn to be unstable, for on a slight temptation they are overcome. Such are they who are bold, self-pleasing, wise and great in their own eyes, who do not ground their conversation on true and solid humility."
(Cyr.) "To those who are slow to fulfill what is for the glory of God, and the things whereby His house, the Church, is firmly stayed, neither the heavenly dew cometh, which enricheth hearts and minds, nor the fruitfulness of the earth; i. e., right action; not food nor wine nor use of oil. But they will be ever strengthless and joyless, unenriched by spiritual oil, and remain without taste or participation of the blessing through Christ."
on Haggai 1 :9
1:9 Came to little - But it answered not the expectation. I did blow - I blasted it. Ye run - You with eagerness carry on your own particular buildings.