“Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”

“Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” Hag. 1:5–7

I have read this great scripture and continue to be impressed with how clearly the Old Testament prophet describes the conditions of today. Almost daily we read of those who invest for little return. We eat food so refined that the nourishment is lacking. We witness the drink that can never satisfy the thirst for those who drink; the dressing for style, rather than warmth, comfort, and modesty; the high wages of the wage earner today which still do not satisfy or supply his needs.

A noted historian several years ago summarized the reasons for the fall of Rome as follows:

1. The breakdown of the family and the rapid increase of divorce.

2. The spiraling rise of taxes and extravagant spending.

3. The mounting craze for pleasure and the brutalization of sports.

4. The decay of religion into myriads of confused forms, leaving the people without a uniform guide.

Our unconquered appetites and consuming drive for material possessions appear to be leading us on a course so often repeated in history. Greed, lust, and desire historically have only led mankind to waste, destruction, and suffering.

James E. Talmage has written:

“Material belongings, relative wealth or poverty, physical environment—the things on which we are prone to set our hearts and anchor our aspirations, the things for which we sweat and strive, ofttimes at the sacrifice of happiness and to the forfeiture of real success—these after all are but externals, the worth of which in the reckoning to come shall be counted in terms of the use we have made of them.”