The following monologue is taken from the book of Haggai. I thought that it read really well on it’s own and wanted to dissect what the Lord says from the extraneous speech.
“These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’ Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?
Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.
You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away.
Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.
I am with you.
Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But now be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, and work. For I am with you. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not Fear.
In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory. The silver is mine and the gold is mine. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former. And in this place I will grant peace.
Ask the priests what the law says: If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated? If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?
So it is with this people and this nation in my sight. Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled. Now give careful thought to this from this day on- consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple. When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me. From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
From this day on I will bless you.
Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. On that day I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®