God’s people have forgotten who comes first and been diverted onto wrong priorities.
Read: Haggai 1: 3-11
In the year 537 BC, Zerubbabel, a direct descendent of King David, led the people of Israel back to Jerusalem. He was empowered by the Persian King Cyrus and given the task of rebuilding the city and, more importantly, the Temple. They consecrated the altar first, so that worship could begin, but the Temple itself remained a heap of rubble.
In 520 BC God sent the prophet Haggai to challenge and motivate the people to get on with the building. Apparently, they were making the excuse that, “It’s not the right time yet!”.
So through Haggai, God issues a rebuke and a challenge. He says, you say you are the people of God, so how come your own agenda is more important than God’s? You’ve rebuilt your own homes, and made them pretty comfortable, but God’s house is still in ruins.
What’s more, even though they are putting their material gains first…food and drink, clothes and money…they are not prospering at all. Why? Because they were neglecting God, and their problems were his way of getting their attention.
Jesus reminds us, in Matthew 6: 33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Getting side-tracked and having our priorities hijacked can be disastrous.
Fortunately, it seems that with strong leadership, open ears and willing hearts, the people listened and got on with the job. Haggai 1: 13-15 tells us,
 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: “I am with you, says the LORD!”  So the LORD sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies,  on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign.”
That’s just three weeks after Haggai delivered God’s message!
What excuses do I use to attempt to delay God’s will for my life? What happens when the church, local or national, ignores God’s instructions?