Haggai 1:2-4. This people say, The time is not come, &c. They had no just cause for saying this; but their own private concerns and conveniences (as appears from what follows) employed all their thoughts, and they preferred them to the rebuilding of the temple. Then When the people were thus sluggish, made excuses, and delayed the work; came the word of the Lord to Haggai To reprove them for their neglect, and excite them to their duty. Is it time for you, &c. You think it full time to build your own houses: you judge it seasonable enough to lay out much cost on adorning them; what pretence then can you make, that it is not seasonable to build my house? Ought not that first to be set about, and the ornamenting of your own houses to be left till afterward? The reproof here given seems to allude to the different spirit with which David was actuated, Psalms 132:0., who vowed that he would not come into the tabernacle of his house, &c., until he found out a place for the Lord. It certainly argues a contempt of God, when men give the preference to themselves before him, or think no cost or grandeur is too much for themselves, but the meanest accommodation good enough for the service of God. It is true an humble and devout mind is the only temple which God delights to dwell in; and he dwells not in, nor regards, temples made with hands; but yet, for the public solemnization of his worship, and as an outward testimony of men’s respect toward him, it is proper that places should be erected for, and appropriated to his worship; which places ought not to be neglected, but made as decent and becoming the design of their erection as the circumstances of things will admit of.
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