After the return from exile in Babylon, despite the initial excitement and anticipation, and perhaps because of the enormity of the task of rebuilding the Temple, some of the enthusiasm appears to have evaporated and to have been followed by a period of inaction, disillusionment and spiritual torpor.
Haggai the prophet forcibly reminds his people of their priorities,
that the worship of God comes first and stirs them up to the task
of rebuilding the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. Only so, says he,
can they hope to prosper.
Haggai 1.v.1 to 2.v.9