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This impressive series from artist Nicora Gangi stems from her contemplation on the first book of Haggai and her ensuing reflection on the passage's implication for her own life.

Haggai 1

Paneled and Ruins Series

By 

Nicora Gangi

Credits: 

Curated by: 

Jonathon Roberts

2018

Collage

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, Yahweh’s word came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
“This is what Yahweh of Armies says: These people say, ‘The time hasn’t yet come, the time for Yahweh’s house to be built.’”
Then Yahweh’s word came by Haggai, the prophet, saying,
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste?
Now therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says: Consider your ways.
You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don’t have enough. You drink, but you aren’t filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it.”
This is what Yahweh of Armies says: “Consider your ways.
Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,” says Yahweh.
“You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says Yahweh of Armies, “Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house.
Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground produces, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands.”
Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed Yahweh, their God’s voice, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as Yahweh, their God, had sent him; and the people feared Yahweh.
Then Haggai, Yahweh’s messenger, spoke Yahweh’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you,” says Yahweh.
Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God,
in the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

Haggai 1

Haggai was a messenger chosen by God after a long period in Israel's history when there had been no clear communication from the Divine.


At the end of Israel's exile in Babylon, they were instructed by God to return to Israel and rebuild His temple. No sooner had the people of God had come up out of captivity in Babylon and returned to Israel than they set up an altar for sacrifice. The foundation of the temple was laid within a year, but shortly thereafter building ceased entirely. They put that expensive piece of work off, no longer interested in the needs of their spiritual life—God’s temple and presence among them. They wanted to spend what time and money they had on their own pleasures, to provide for their families and fill their own houses with all kinds of earthly finery. God was displeased with this and therefore rebuked them: "You dwell in your fancy paneled houses but my house lies desolate" (Haggai 1:4). Provoked by their lack of commitment, He scattered the heaping of their wealth with the breath of His mouth.


Though they had foolishly neglected the building of the house of God, He promised to not remember their former ways, knowing that He would be honored by them in His temple. "I will be glorified, says the Lord" (Haggai 1:8). When the temple is built, God will be served, worshipped and sanctified by those who come near to Him.


This made clear to me how worthwhile it is to invest our care, pain, and resources in those tasks by which God may be glorified.


I believe that if the work we have to do for God and our own souls is left undone—if we seek our own desires more than the will of Jesus Christ—God will cross us in our temporal affairs and we will be met with trouble and disappointment. However, if we follow Him and seek His kingdom we will be blessed with all necessary things and more in abundance to complete that to which we are called (Matthew 6:33).



Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Nicora Gangi was educated at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA (BFA 1974 and MFA 1976). She was a Professor of Art at Syracuse University for 29 years. Gangi has been awarded many Grand Prize and First Place awards and grants. She has been and continues to be published in numerous artist’s books on pastel paintings. She has lectured regionally and nationally as a visiting artist at universities and artist’s guilds. She is represented by: Edgewood Gallery (Syracuse, NY), and Gangi Studio (Winter Garden, FL).



Nicora Gangi

About the Artist

This One

The Body without the Spirit | 1

The Body without the Spirit | 2

The Body without the Spirit | 3

The Sealed Ones

Peace with God

The Everlasting Protective Love of God Our Father

So Shall Your Descendants Be

I See Him but Not Now

The Mountain of the House of The Lord

The Harvest

Spirit of God-The Spirit Hovering

Memories

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