The prophet Haggai delivers a sharp rebuke for the people who have returned from captivity. They started out with zeal for God and His ways but now have fallen into sinful patterns. It has been sixteen years since they returned and now their personal goals are hindering how God commanded them to worship Him. They were neglecting the temple and gratifying themselves.
The people who returned from captivity were distracted. They had little zeal to establish worship in the way that God had commanded. They were sluggish about rebuilding the temple and overly focused on their possessions and homes. Accordingly, Haggai preached sermons to shake the returnees out of their neglect. His message was that their priorities were off. He made it clear that neglecting the house of God always has consequences.