In our study, we will learn about priorities from the exiles that returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity.
"In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:" NIV translation
We are given a specific date (September 1, 520 B.C.) for the events that are to follow. The prophet's name means "my holiday" and he is sent to the political and religious leaders in Jerusalem.
"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'These people say, "The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built."' Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 'Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?'" NIV translation
Many of God's people had returned to their homeland with great anticipation. But, when they got there, they faced opposition and went and built their own homes in their own towns. They justified this in their own minds by saying it was not God's timing for the temple to be rebuilt. We see that God sent the prophet to give them a wakeup call about priorities as He asks them if it is right for them to have nice homes while God's house is still a burned out mess.
In our world today, many Christians have their priorities messed up in much the same way. Many build fancy homes or buy all kinds of things and have to spend all of their time at a job to pay for their lavish lifestyles. This does not leave any time for the things of God such as prayer, Bible study, and serving Him. There are even those who say that it is "God's will" for them to make as much money as they can so that they can support the work of God. The funny thing is that they give a very tiny portion of that income to charities and keep most of it for their own use.
There are also those that hide behind the "God's timing" excuse for not doing what He calls them to do. When they face a little opposition from those that are around them, they fold and retreat behind those excuses. As we see, God was not happy with His people doing this in the days of Zerubbabel. The simple fact of the matter is that it is "God's timing" and "God's will" to serve Him now without making excuses.