Consider Your Ways Hag.1:1-11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Israel was neglecting the house of the Lord for their own houses and farms – so the Lord told them, Consider your ways – look at what you are doing – consider your ways – and ask yourself why you are doing it – who’s ways are you following – are you following:
Man’s ways – nothing inherently wrong with man’s ways of doing things when you are talking about temporal matters [1 Sam 18:14 David behaved himself wisely in all his ways] – but there’s everything wrong with them if you’re talking about eternal, spiritual matters [Is 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts] – these men were neglecting the house of God by following their ways not God’s ways [in Matt 22:5 when the Lord made a marriage for his son, the invited guests “made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise”] – and as far as they were concerned they were right [Prov 16:2 all the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes] – to get their attention, God quit blessing their ways – there is only one way to do God’s ways and that is God’s way.
Your father’s ways – your father is one of the most influential people in your life – there are many good things to pick up from Dad – Arnold Palmer said that his dad was the most influential person in his life – when it comes to God, people generally follow the ways of their fathers [though not always 1 Sam 8:3 his sons walked not in his ways (Samuel)]– if your dad is a God fearing man following him can be a good thing [1 Ki 22:43 Jehoshaphat “walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord”] – but if he is not a God fearing man then following him is going to lead you contrary to the ways of God [contrast 2 Chr 34:2 Josiah “walked in the ways of David his father” with 2 Chr 22:3 Ahaziah “also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab”] – furthermore, if you are a “man-pleaser” you will be doing God’s ways for your father’s approval and not for the Lord’s – as you grow you will transfer this attitude to the preacher and you are going to find pleasing men to be a very difficult task with bad consequences in time – the Lord knows your motive; your ways are not for God’s pleasure; they are for man’s.
The heretic’s ways – these are the ways of false prophets and false teachers of whom there are many today – and when their ways begin to become the normal way of Christianity then Bible-believing Christianity is going to appear to be the wrong way [2 Pet 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of] – what we do for the Lord must come directly and correctly from the words of God and not from heretical men, no matter how accepted they are by Christians.
The ways of the wicked – these are evil ways and forward ways – the trouble is that the wicked don’t want God’s ways [Job 21:14 (the wicked say) depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways] – and if you are a Christian trying to go some of the time in God’s ways and walking the rest of the time in the ways of the wicked you are going to be miserable [Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways] – the remedy is to repent of your wicked ways [2 Ki 17:13 prophets testifying against Israel and Judah said, “turn ye from your evil ways”] – this is not just some casual admonition; you need to turn and you need to turn now [Zech 1:4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord] – you don’t realize what the Lord can and will do to you [Jer 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you] – he can even take your life [Prov 14:12 there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death]; though that is the last resort [Ezek 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?]
The backslider’s ways – these are the ways of those who have left the paths of uprightness [Prov 2:13 who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness] – they were in God’s ways but their hearts weren’t and they slid away [Prov 14:14 the backslider ‘in heart’ shall be filled with his own ways] – if your heart is backslidden you better get it fixed starting right now or it will lead you straight away from God.
God’s ways – you learn God’s ways from the Bible and you may be taught them by your parents, your Sunday school teachers, your pastor and so forth – Deut 5:33 – all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you – Deut 8:6 – walk in his ways – God’s ways are clearly written in his words and the Holy Spirit will guide you gently in his ways – you simply need to learn the ways of God and follow them [2 Chr 17:6 Jehoshaphat’s “heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord”].
Conclusion: whose ways are you following – man’s ways – your father’s ways – a heretic’s ways – the way of the wicked – a backslider’s ways – or God’s ways – the men in Haggai weren’t going in the ways of God, they were going in the ways of man – if you want to go to heaven you are going to have to go God’s way [Jn 14:6] and if you want to rejoice in your Christian life, you are going to have to live God’s way [Prov 3:6 in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths].