Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Minor in name only, I remain absolutely fascinated by their poetry, sermons, oracles, and story.
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From the blog
Both Malachi and Paul gave their readers God’s reassurance—God sees, God listens, God notes, God cares. The Book of Remembrance is for eternity, and those who reverence and love God will find their names in that book.Keep reading
God would begin with the spiritual leaders of the people, first purifying them, then refining them. Their public sanctification would necessarily involve intense suffering, for the heat of the refiner’s fire would bring all the impurities to the surface, where they would be seen and removed.Keep reading
The Lord’s answer to the cry for justice begins with Messiah, but God’s answer continues with the promise to return and bring just judgment. However, God will begin with God’s own people.Keep reading
Whatever we are going through can feel like it will last for the rest of our lives, without escape. Sometimes, some aspect of that really is true. But so much more often, now is only now, the middle of the story, and what the Lord has in store is unknown.Keep reading
Irreducible Complexity: Election is simply this, that Sovereign God loves whom God loves. The Lord foreknows and calls those to respond to the good news of God’s grace and at the same time God works through a person’s choosing to believe.Keep reading
Now, at last, this final vision rests on a time of great celebration, when all shall be made “Holy to the Lord.”Keep reading
Part of what makes this final chapter confusing is how Zechariah seems to oscillate between idyllic scenes and catastrophic scenes. However, reading this chapter with John’s Revelation suggests a cohesive overall narrative.Keep reading
These last three chapters are Second Zechariah’s second oracle, describing the completion of God’s plan from the beginning, from before the creation of the world. When God gave God’s people the seven feasts described in Exodus, they were each prophetic of God’s plan of salvation. So far, four of those feasts have been fulfilled in Christ, and chapters 12-14 reflect the fulfillment to come of the last three feasts.Keep reading
The prophet continued with his Messianic theme, describing the Savior to come as a shepherd. The Shepherd had two staffs, one named “Favor” and the other “Union.” In the previous post, the staff of Favor is broken, and now in this post the staff of Union will be broken.Keep reading
The prophet continued with his Messianic theme, describing the Savior to come as a shepherd. The Shepherd had two staffs, one named “Favor” and the other “Union.” In this post, the staff of Favor is broken, and in the next post the staff of Union will be broken.Keep reading
Now in the wee hours of the morning, Zechariah’s visions came to a close with the emperor sending his armies back into all the world to carry out his commands. They came thundering out from between two bronze mountains, icons of immovable might.Keep reading
So far, you and I have read through five of those visions together, giving messages of reassurance and revealing God’s nature of mercy. The last three visions have a darker side, for they display God’s judgement against all that is wrong, corrupted, and evil—God’s disposition against the seriousness of sin.Keep reading
Zechariah saw a man measuring out Jerusalem, yet the more he measured, the bigger Jerusalem seemed to be. In fact it was going to be so big it would have no walls. But wait! Yes, there would be a wall—Almighty God’s glory would surround God’s people with a wall of fire.Keep reading
Though this is the shortest of Haggai’s oracles, it is surprisingly dense! In it God redeems Zerubbabel’s family baggage.Keep reading
“The Lord will establish you as [God’s] holy people, as [the Lord] has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in [God’s] ways. All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord.”Keep reading
A month into the work, but the people’s spirits were flagging, and they needed a word from the Lord to lift them up.
Thankfully, soon it would be Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, and Haggai knew God had something to give them that would bring them great joy.Keep reading
. Thirty long years dragged on, a generation of people grew old and died, and a new generation grew up with a half-built temple. It felt normal to go about their lives and make do with a priesthood, an altar, musicians, and no more. They invested in their own lives instead, building their homes, improving their towns, marshalling through droughts and rainy times as the people of that land had been doing for thousands of years.
Then came Haggai!Keep reading
Though now an old man, Haggai was among those first 50,000 faithful men, women, and children who rose to God’s call to return home. He went as one of two spiritual advisors for Governor Zerubbabel and the priest Jeshua, for these two young men, no older than their thirties, and perhaps still in their twenties, would need the strength of character, spiritual wisdom, and practical guidance of these two middle-aged sages.Keep reading
Zephaniah 3:17-20 is the fulfillment of human longing. At last, those who love God and have put their faith God, will find themselves fully restored in a glorious life that will be lived fully in communion with God, in the peace, and love, and joy of the Lord.Keep reading
They hear the Lord’s voice speaking softly, yet with such power. And as they dream, and gaze, and talk, these two young idealists are poised to change their world in a radical upheaval that would stay God’s judgement for an entire generation.Keep reading
The Psalmist speaks from the Judean perspective, first in concert with fellow Judeans, then alone, as the Psalmist, then finally as a prayer from Judeans to God, going through each of the five stages of grief over the loss of Jerusalem, and the betrayal of Edom.Keep reading
God did forgive the people. In the last verse of this book, Micah spoke with confident hope that God would show faithfulness to the people, unswerving loyalty, because this is not only God’s nature but also the nature of God’s love for God’s own.Keep reading
There are Spirit-filled Christians from what seems a countless variety of backgrounds and faith traditions, and we all have such a variety of ways of understanding what will happen in the future. There is much disagreement! However, there are a few points on which we are unified.Keep reading
Micah has been likened to a horse, thinking of the warhorses of Assyria pounding towards Judah. However, I see Micah more associated with the cow, because this prophet talked about banging swords into plows. Horses and mules were pretty scarce in Judah, but there were plenty of bulls and cows, so the farmer usually had…Keep reading
Micah is the next prophet after Jonah, historically speaking. He spoke the words of God toward the end of the eighth century, 740-687 B.C. in the southern kingdom of Judah during the reigns of good king Jotham, evil king Ahaz, and good king Hezekiah.Keep reading
Anger was eating Jonah up just like the worm had eaten up the vine. You and I might start out being angry at the big things, but unresolved anger just sits there waiting to be triggered until it comes screaming out over every little thing.Keep reading
I have been in the desert when the temperature is 115 degrees and climbing, with a fierce hot wind. It takes about half an hour for these convection oven-like conditions to literally bake the skin and lungs so that a person can hardly breathe, eyes ache and a person can get dangerously dizzy and dehydrated.Keep reading
Without being mindful, it is easy to think about spiritual things through the lens of our culture’s mindset and worldview. In Jonah’s day, it was culturally and societally supported to hate certain people groups, such as the Assyrians, and to assume God hated them too.Keep reading
The truth is, it seemed Jonah would rather have died than turn back and sail for Joppa to begin his journey to Nineveh. But, God was not asking Jonah to give his life to the sea in death. God was asking him to give his compassion to the enemies of his people.Keep reading
The first layer of meaning is straightforward. Ripe fruit, when it is plucked from the tree, is cut off. For the harvester, the ripened fruit is a lovely blessing, but for the fruit itself, to be harvested means its time on the tree will come to an end.Keep reading
God is true to character, God is just and righteous, and calls God’s people to be the same. The Lord is also merciful. Only eternity will reveal how much and how often the Lord has spared God’s people because of the often hidden prayers offered up as intercession.Keep reading
What happens when God’s people lose touch with God’s values and God’s character?
They do not stop being God’s people.
They do experience a profound disconnection from God.
Instead of experiencing and living out the exuberant joy of shalom, they create and participate in systems that harm.
By chapter 3, the book of Amos begins the recording of three sermons preached to Israel (Chapters 3-5), calling all of God’s people to repentance. Each of the sermons begins with the words “Hear this word…” Woven throughout Amos’ words were the theologies of the ancient Hebrew faith.Keep reading
This was the word from the Lord they had been longing to hear. After their sackcloth and ashes, their weeping and mourning, weakened from their fasts, and sacrifices, and prayers, they longed with every fiber of their being to hear some token of God’s love and mercy towards them.Keep reading
It’s not too late to restore relationships, to repair bridges, to pray for and say yes to new opportunities. God can make up for all you didn’t do right before, He can more than make up for it! Knowing that God will restore what was lost, what was wasted, frees you and me to move into and with God’s will now—to fulfill His purpose for us today.Keep reading
After we’ve had a chance to settle in with Hosea (who is listed first, and who also came first), it would be great to see who were contemporaries, who were probably having conversations with each other, and which prophets wrote about the same theme but ended their books very differently.Keep reading
True love is of God, Whose love is infinite. Love is sovereign, love defies reasoning, it is apart from reason. Love is not according to logic, love is according to love. Love goes all the way, and then love goes one step further.Keep reading
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My passion for the Bible began when I was eight or nine years old, somewhere in there, when on occasion my dad would take me to synagogue, where he sang. I remember watching the men in synagogue pray the words of scripture, murmuring and weeping, lovingly touching and kissing the Torah, and I wished I could read what they were reading.
Imagine, then, my wonder when I was given a Bible of my own! Read more
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Minor Prophets: Zechariah, Vision Two