Rebuild the House!

"Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. I will take pleasure in it and will be honored," says the Lord.                                           —Haggai 1:8, NLT

This verse is in the middle of a chapter on priorities. Haggai reproved the Jews returning from captivity because they had built their own houses while neglecting to rebuild the temple. For years, I’ve been using this verse as a challenge to folks not to make excuses for neglecting their daily quiet time. And the verse implies effort: “Now go up into the hills and bring down timber” sounds hard! But it’s commanded nonetheless.
Now I’m learning a new application for this text as I find myself, at age 71, with my warranty running out! I had shoulder surgery on May 10. The shoulder surgery was scheduled quickly so that I’ll be able to have knee replacement surgery in August. And this “simple, outpatient” surgery wasn’t:  I came home on oxygen, a complication caused by anesthesia and living at high altitude.
Haggai 1:8 came to me as I got back on the stationary bike for aerobic exercise and began using the little breathing exerciser they sent me home with. I don’t want to do the work! But the Word is clear: my body is God’s temple, too (1 Corinthians 3:16), and God wants it rebuilt! And the rebuilding will be difficult.
But there’s a promise in this passage also. The older Jews thought the new temple was puny compared with the previous one (Haggai 2:3). But God responded: “‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’” (Haggai 2.9, NIV). My orthopedist says I will be better than I was before! And God seems to be saying that, too!
So I need to do the work! Whatever our age, we may find that our warranty is running out. Let’s encourage each other to keep both our spiritual and our physical houses in order.
Bob and June Ewell serve with Encore from Monument, Colorado (in the Pikes Peak area). This article is adapted from his blog, which you can access at In addition, Bob has just published his third book, The Disciple’s Work, available on Amazon.