Remember how, in the book of Amos, all the bad things that happen to God’s people are judgment for oppressing the poor? Bad things are still happening, but this time it’s because they’re not contributing to the restoration of the temple. Not a bad pitch, but a more experienced fundraiser would have at least offered each donor a prayer cloth.
Haggai begins with a statement of the exact date that God spoke to Haggai. Biblical scholars have determined this to be August 29, 520 BCE. Seriously.
God complains to Haggai that the people are more interested in getting their own homes built while the Big House still lies in ruins from the Babylonian invasion.
He points out that, if they’ve been paying attention, they’ve noticed that things aren’t going very well for the community.
Hint: Once the Temple is rebuilt, God will make sure things get better.
The people seem to get the message, and get back to work. On September 21. That was quick.