OGETHER—what a wonderful word! Webster defines it, “with each other, in company, with united action and cooperation.”The people of Israel had stopped working together for God. Their sense of togetherness and sacrifice was gone. Then, God spoke to them:
“You have sown much and harvested little,
you eat yet you never have enough.
You drink but you never can drink your fill,
you clothe yourselves but you cannot keep warm,
and he who earns a wage puts it into a bag with
holes.”—Haggai 1:6 (Moffatt)
Why had all this happened to the people?
“My house lies in ruins,” God answered, “while you busy yourselves each with your own house” (see v. 9).
Although the emperor had given a firm edict for the Jews to stop working on the Temple, God said, “Work: for I am with you” (2:4).
The people obeyed God. They arose together and started building again.
God’s call here was a call for joint action. The people were hard workers, but they had been busying themselves each with his own house rather than working together for God.
A similar condition exists today. Christians have never been so busy; yet, like the Jews of old, production is not commensurate with the amount of activity expended. Nearly three billion people remain unreached with the Gospel.
Why is this? Could it be that the same reason exists today as in Haggai’s time—each one is concentrating on his own personal objectives and ambitions rather than on the larger goals God has in mind for our church and for our generation?
It is true that we have a personal relationship with God and that each of us is a worker for God in our own right, but we are also “workers together with him” (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Our opportunities for evangelism have never been greater than right now. But no one individual, and no one local church alone, can reach a lost world for God. You cannot do it alone. I cannot do it alone.
But I believe that we—together—can reach the world for Christ.
Cecil B. Knight wrote this article for the July 11, 1977 issue of the Evangel while serving as general overseer of the Church of God.