Biblical Theology: Minor Prophets | God’s Mercy

by | Jun 4, 2024


Biblical Theology: Minor Prophets | God’s Mercy

We’re back in our Bible study series with Adrianna Anderson. Today we look at the minor prophets, where we see a fuller picture of God’s mercy to His people, Israel, and to the nations. There are plenty of sober warnings of judgment, but God’s mercy shines through these books as time and again the people are given chances to repent and know God as father rather than judge. God’s mercy extends to the ends of the earth, and these 12 authors drive that point home. Along the way, we also get more details on the day of the Lord and the coming Messiah. We hope you read along and are encouraged as we continue to see God’s mercy and faithfulness to all people.

LINKS & SHOW NOTES:

Episode Transcript

Austin (00:04.178) Grace and peace, friends. Welcome back to United We Pray. Austin Souter joined again by Adriana Anderson. And boy, do we have a task cut out for us today. How are you, sister? Adrianna Anderson (00:13.12) I’m doing good, how are you? Austin (00:15.282) I’m doing well. I’m excited to jump in. This episode, we took a break last week from our biblical theology series, but this week we’re looking at the minor prophets. Minor, not because they’re less important, but just because they’re a little bit shorter. And we’ve already covered a few of these. I mean, we’ve already looked at some of the major prophets and we’ve broken it up. It hasn’t fallen completely as organized as in the same way that some others organize it. But today we’ll be looking at the minor prophets, the book of the 12, as it’s sometimes known, we’ll be looking at them. The way we look at them, Adrianna Anderson (00:43.744) Mm -hmm. Austin (00:45.188) figured we would do this is look at them individually rather than thematically just because there’s 12 of them and there’s a lot of themes. So we’re going to be looking at them individually going in order as we find them in the canon and look at God’s plan for the nations just a rough outline for the book and themes of each book and then background on the prophets themselves what were they like what was their situation when were they writing and that sort of thing. So we hope you’re enjoying this series we hope you’re reading along with us and without further ado… let’s kick it off with Hosea. So Hosea, the book centers on this marriage. It’s a real marriage, it’s not hyperbole, it’s a real marriage between Hosea and the unfaithful Gomer. God tells Hosea to marry her and gives him symbolic names for their children and their marriage and her unfaithfulness and their children represents Israel’s unfaithfulness and the consequences of their unfaithfulness to God. So God warns Israel through Hosea that they would be scattered among the nations since they are indistinguishable from them. Adrianna Anderson (01:19.328) Yes. Austin (01:49.124) see that in chapter 9 verse 17. Adriana what’s some background on the book and on Hosea? Adrianna Anderson (01:52.928) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (01:56.704) So Hosea is one of those I call small but mighty books. Hosea for those that do not know they’re listening is one of our 12 minor prophets. His name means help or salvation and his ministry extended from 784 to 723 BC so almost 60 years. during the reign of several kings. So some kings that you’ll probably will be familiar with their names, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, several kings of Judah, Jeroboam and Joash. And he… meaning Hosea, was a contemporary of Isaiah, so a very strong preacher, if you will, or strong prophet. And his writings are actually the longest of the Minor Prophets, containing 14 chapters that can be divided into two parts. And so for those of you that are taking notes, I would say chapters one through three focus on Israel’s idolatry and adultery, which are represented by an unfaithful wife, as Austin noted. And then chapters four through 14 are basically a summary of his discourse on topics like denunciation, threats, promises, exhortations and revelations of God’s mercy. And many of his words are quoted. throughout the New Testament so I think that’s really important for our listeners to know as well too. One of the verses that I really love comes from Hosea chapter 6 verse 6 and it says, it’ll probably be familiar with most of you, for I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. So, love that book. Austin (03:44.338) And you see this theme just picked up in the ministry of Jesus as he’s denouncing the false worship in the temple. This place that was supposed to be a light to the nations has become corrupted. And that’s not a new theme to Jesus. I mean, he really made some people mad in his day calling people out for it, but this goes way back. Adrianna Anderson (03:50.016) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (03:55.296) Yes. Adrianna Anderson (04:04.96) Yeah, for sure. Austin (04:07.858) Well, to keep it moving, we go then to Joel, the next book we see. Joel is an interesting one because it’s a warning about God’s judgment and we pick up again on this theme of the day of the Lord and it seems that Joel was writing to correct wrong assumptions about the day of the Lord because if you just to infer from what he says it seems that people in his day thought that the day of the Lord would be a day of God’s judgment for the nations and it would be a great day for Israel but Joel caused on all people to repent and turn to the Lord and he prophesies a day when God will pour out his spirit on all flesh. Adrianna Anderson (04:34.752) Right. Austin (04:44.804) not just the nations and this is quoted at Pentecost when we see in Acts 2 God reverses the curse of Babylon calls all people from all nations unto himself so it’s it’s we get from Joel that the day of the Lord is not just for Israel today for all people which is good news but there’s that somber warning to repent and obey and believe Adrianna Anderson (04:45.408) Mm -hmm. Yes. Adrianna Anderson (05:02.144) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (05:06.912) That’s right, that’s right. So, you know, again, Joel, and I just want to keep reminding our listeners that Joel is also one of the 12 minor prophets, and God called him to pronounce. judgment or God’s coming judgment on all people including Israel. Scripture doesn’t tell us a lot about Joel and there’s a lot of theological debate around the possible dates it was written and so obviously we’re not gonna we’re not here to debate that today but there was a lot of information packed into this small book consisting of three chapters and then Joel concludes this book with a picture of a God who will one day ultimately restore justice, peace, holiness and true worship. One of the verses that I really love out of this book is from chapter 2 verses 21 and it says, fear not O land, be glad and rejoice for the Lord has done great things. And that’s a continuing theme that we see throughout not only this book but throughout the entirety of Scripture. Really that paints a picture of God’s amazing mercy. Austin (06:16.722) Yeah, his mercy comes through in these books and we see the the I mean it’s fitting with the prophets right there Job is to call God’s people to obey the word of God the law of God But just as we saw in the prophets there in the law rather the prophets seem very concerned about these weighty matters of the law justice Doing right by the poor doing right by the sojourner. These are the things that God is calling his people to and Warning them that because they’re not doing that judgment is coming Adrianna Anderson (06:34.208) That’s right. Mm -hmm. Yes. Austin (06:46.628) And so it’s all connected, it all ties back in. The profits are people of the book, right? And so we should expect that they pick up on those same themes. So Joel is a really hopeful book. Adrianna Anderson (06:47.232) That’s right. Yes. Yes. Adrianna Anderson (06:56.992) That’s right. Adrianna Anderson (07:01.024) Mm -hmm. Austin (07:01.65) a lot of good news in Joel. Then we go to Amos, which is a little bit more severe. It’s not that there’s no good news in there, but it seems to be really focused on the severity of the Day of the Lord. So judgment is announced specifically against many of Israel’s neighbors, but then against Israel and Judah as well. So God’s people are warned that the ceremonial aspects of the law, just as we saw in Joel, just as we saw in Hosea, are not enough to, well, especially as we saw in Hosea, the ceremonial Adrianna Anderson (07:10.112) Great. Adrianna Anderson (07:14.208) Mm -hmm. Austin (07:31.556) aspects of the law are not enough to keep them from the judgment of God. That a sacrifice alone is not a substitute for obeying the law of God on these weighty matters. So in chapter 5 verses 21 through 24 we see that again as we saw in Hosea the obeying of certain elements of the law and sacrifice are called out as hypocritical because they’re being done disingenuously and disconnected from other commands of God. Adrianna Anderson (07:34.976) Great. Adrianna Anderson (07:59.584) Right. You know, this is another one of those books that, you know, is small but mighty, but it’s packed with so many theological truths. And again, just for the sake of our listeners, Amos was also one of the 12 minor prophets. As we read through this book, we learn that he’s listed as a shepherd of Tekoa. and a tender of fruit trees. And so, you know, Tekoa, for those that don’t know, was about 10 miles south of Jerusalem, and it was located in the southern kingdom. So Amos was prophesying and pronouncing judgment on Israel during the days of King Uzziah and Jeroboam. Another interesting thing that stands out in this book is that there is a note that this happened two years before the earthquake. And I just think that that’s a very interesting piece of information that some people may just read over and gloss over. And again, we don’t have time to go into any of that, but I think that’s very important for readers to really kind of hone in on. But he writes these nine chapters that were left in written form and history teaches us that this is one of the books that was actually left by him in written form. But Amos had one central point and that was Israel prepare to meet your God. And all of Amos’s messages are evident throughout the book and we see the magnitude of God’s earth -shaking warnings through the mouth of his prophet. And so, you know, another verse that I would really point readers to look at is Amos 514 and it says, Seek good and not evil that you may live. And so the Lord, the God of hosts will be with you, as you have said. A great book. Austin (09:45.938) Yeah, even in these books that are packed with judgment, there’s these calls to repentance and reminders of God’s mercy. It’s just like, judgment is coming, but it doesn’t have to. There is mercy in God if you will repent, and people don’t hear it. Adrianna Anderson (09:50.592) Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (09:54.24) Hmm. Yes. Right. Yeah. Austin (10:03.986) Well, speaking of warning, Obadiah is a really interesting one to me because unlike the rest of these books, which are written primarily to Israel, Obadiah has a more specific audience, which is Edom. Now, Edom are the descendants of Esau and they were Israel’s neighbors and because of these family ties, they should have been favorably disposed towards Israel. They should be friendly neighbors, right? Adrianna Anderson (10:08.512) Hmm. Adrianna Anderson (10:20.192) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (10:33.12) Right. Austin (10:33.892) But what we see, Obadiah was a contemporary of, say, Jeremiah, and he prophesied during the time of the Chaldean routing of Jerusalem and the carrying off people into exile. When that happened, the Edomites helped the Chaldeans round up fleeing Israelites to take them into captivity. And that greatly displeased the Lord. He was not happy with them about that. And so the Book of Obadiah is a warning of judgment for them for their failure to help. Adrianna Anderson (10:39.84) Mm -hmm. Austin (11:03.748) and you know just as Israel was called to welcome the sojourner the Edomites were called to welcome the Israelites who were fleeing exile but rather than do that possibly out of fear of the Chaldeans possibly out of resentment to Israel we don’t know but they they do wrong and God has some some bad news for them about that it’s a short little book but Adrianna Anderson (11:05.504) Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (11:15.328) Exactly. Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (11:29.216) Yeah. Austin (11:32.274) Yeah, it ends with this promise for God’s people that on the day of the Lord, which will be the downfall of Edom, God will rule over Mount Esau in his kingdom. So we see that in verse 21, that God is going to be God over the Edomites and not just Israel. Adrianna Anderson (11:40.) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (11:50.144) Right, absolutely. Again, you know, a short but mighty book. Obadiah, again, is one of the twelve minor prophets and his name means slave of Yah. which is a shortening for Yahweh. And his name was actually common during the days of King David all the way through the close of the Old Testament. But Obadiah prophesied to Judah about Edom, as you said, and the coming doom. His book contains 21 verses and is the shortest book of the New Testament. So this is an easy read, but it’s still packed full of lots of messages. And then Obadiah basically concludes his writing with one shocking lesson for Israel and that is that the kingdom would be the Lord’s. Plain and simple, it’s gonna be his. One verse that I really love from this book is 15 and it says, for the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations as you have done it shall be done to you. Your deeds shall return on your own heads. So very heavy messaging but again we still see God’s hand of mercy throughout those verses. Austin (13:02.802) Yeah, God’s Mercy to the Nations is a theme within the Twelve, but possibly nowhere more so than the Book of Jonah. And I mean, we could spend an easy half hour, 45 minutes just in Jonah. Partly because there’s a… Adrianna Anderson (13:07.2) Mm -hmm. Whew. Adrianna Anderson (13:16.8) That’s right. Austin (13:21.01) Some parts of the book are super well known, right? The book of Jonah, you can see it on the felt board if you grew up in church, you know, Jonah, right, Jonah, and I don’t mean to speak ill of that, praise God for teaching, you know, teaching to our children, but I think we can have a truncated version of the book. We think of it, Jonah called by God, Jonah disobeys. Adrianna Anderson (13:23.68) Mm -hmm. Right. VBS. Yeah. Right. Adrianna Anderson (13:37.344) Mm -hmm. Austin (13:41.714) ends up in the ocean, God sends the fish, Jonah prays, gets right, and then goes about his work. And that’s not quite the whole story because there’s this underpinning within the book of ethnic tension that Jonah really never explains, but it’s there. And… Adrianna Anderson (13:49.824) No. Adrianna Anderson (13:58.048) Yeah. Austin (14:00.21) Jonah is called to go to Nineveh, that great city, as the Lord said. The Ninevites were Assyrian, and they were the enemies of God’s people. And we see in other books, like Nahum, where God calls out the evil deeds of the Assyrians, and Israel had cause to be wary of the Assyrians, and to fear them, and to resent them. Adrianna Anderson (14:04.384) Mm -hmm. Austin (14:23.986) And Jonah has really put all his chips on that side of the table. He does not want the Aetherians to receive God’s mercy. Adrianna Anderson (14:32.672) Mm -mm. Austin (14:33.106) And it’s so interesting at the end of the book you see that he he’s yelling at god and he says the whole reason I didn’t want to come is because I know you’re merciful and you’re Which really when you read that the the ending of jona really? brings his Disobedience into contrast. It’s like wow. It’s not just that you didn’t want to go you you wanted damnation for them like you you Adrianna Anderson (14:41.152) That’s right. Adrianna Anderson (14:57.568) Yes. Austin (14:59.986) You wanted to put yourself in the place of God and see who gets mercy. So I could keep going. I want to leave something for you. So what is it that you want our listeners to take away from Jonah? Adrianna Anderson (15:03.072) Mmm. Mmm. Adrianna Anderson (15:09.152) Wow. Yeah, we certainly, like you said, we could be here for an hour just on this episode. But, you know, one thing I’d really want our listeners to remember is that Jonah is different from the other minor prophets in that it doesn’t really give us straightforward theological or ethical teachings. The book of Jonah really is telling a story. And sadly, He was the example of what not to do as God’s messenger. And that’s something I really want our listeners to think about, you know, especially when God calls us to do hard things or go in to share messages with people that we may not like or love or, you know, have warm fuzzy feelings about. But the book does focus on the mercy of God to those who are lost and don’t know they’re lost. And I would love for us to look at this particular verse in Jonah chapter 4. verse 11 that I absolutely love. Like I have notes, stars, all the things around this particular verse because it really, we hear the heart of God in this verse and I’m gonna read it from the ESV and this is what it says. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120 ,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left and also much cattle. If you cannot hear God’s heart for this group of people, I don’t know what else denotes that. I mean, it’s here, it’s written, we see. that God cares for people that are lost and that don’t know their right hand from their left. Adrianna Anderson (16:57.568) And so, you know, this book, again, there are so many examples in this story of four chapters that we see about, you know, someone that we do paint oftentimes in Christian settings as, you know, this hero, if you will. And while none of us are perfect and none of these prophets were perfect, there are still lessons that the Lord definitely wants us to glean from the book of Jonah. So I really admonish all of our listeners to go back and just kind of walk through. verse by verse in this book. There’s lots of lessons there for us all. Sure, please. Austin (17:32.082) Can I tell the quick story? I had an Old Testament prof who, a seminary professor who ended up becoming my favorite professor, but he was a little bit scary. And he was really intense. We all just kind of like kept our heads down and hoped he didn’t call on us. He was old school. He would call on people by name and ask them hard questions in front of the class. And we were going through Jonah and we get to the end and he calls on somebody and says, Mr. Smith, will you meet Jonah in heaven? And he kind of sat there and he’s like, Adrianna Anderson (17:43.424) huh. Adrianna Anderson (17:51.008) huh. Austin (18:05.394) I don’t know. I mean, last we see him, he’s sitting here fussing at God, asking to die. And, you know, I don’t have any evidence of repentance here. And the professor said, yes, you do. You’re holding it. The book of Jonah is, I mean, just even retelling, it just gives me goosebumps. It’s like because. Adrianna Anderson (18:19.264) Mmm. goodness. Me too, wow. Austin (18:27.346) As you said, he’s presented here as the example of what not to do as a prophet. But he wrote it, and that’s how he wanted to be portrayed. He wanted to show himself as the example of the unfaithful man with a faithful God. And it’s just… Adrianna Anderson (18:32.96) Right. Adrianna Anderson (18:36.48) That’s right. Adrianna Anderson (18:40.992) Mmm, love it. Austin (18:43.666) when you read it that way and I think he’s right like I’d never really seen that before that day in class but Jonah never justifies his bad behavior in his retelling of the story he doesn’t explain the you know misdeeds of the Assyrians he just he leaves it the only misdeeds you see in this book are his and then he gives God this last word which shows his character that Jonah is unfaithful and God is faithful and has mercy on the nations and it’s just when you read it that way Adrianna Anderson (18:49.568) Right. Adrianna Anderson (18:53.28) Right. Adrianna Anderson (18:58.816) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (19:02.944) Right. Adrianna Anderson (19:07.168) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (19:12.8) Yes. Yes it is. Right. And to your point, God has mercy on who he chooses to have mercy on. Yeah. So good. Yes. Austin (19:13.62) It’s so powerful. Austin (19:21.778) Yes. So good. Micah. So Micah would have been a little bit before Jonah’s time. Adrianna Anderson (19:29.088) Mr. Micah. Adrianna Anderson (19:33.312) Mm -hmm. Austin (19:33.394) a contemporary of Isaiah, so the northern kingdom actually fell during his ministry. And the book of Micah is full of indictments against God’s people for forgetting the way he matters of the law. We get that famous verse that everybody knows from Micah, which we put forth, Micah 6 -8, what does the Lord require that you do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God? We put that forward as like, yeah, you know, mission statement, marching orders. But within the context of Micah, it’s this is all I asked and it’s not what you’re doing. Adrianna Anderson (19:50.88) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (19:57.152) Right, right. Adrianna Anderson (20:02.4) Mm -hmm. Austin (20:02.834) And so these things like the care for the poor, the weighty aspects of the law, Micah warns them to repent and to obey the law, but then reveals a further aspect of the day of the Lord. Because we keep seeing this, the prophets keep coming back to this day of the Lord. And every time we do, each prophet has a little bit of a new contribution to it. Micah’s contribution is that the day of the Lord will be a day of peace between the nations. So this coming strife that we’re seeing in judgment is not God’s ultimate plan. Adrianna Anderson (20:20.256) Right. Adrianna Anderson (20:24.096) That’s right. Austin (20:34.068) for the nations. One day in the day of the Lord the nations will be at peace and there will be no more war. We see that in chapter 4 verse 3. Adrianna Anderson (20:35.36) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (20:42.888) you Micah, so again for our listeners, he’s one of the 12 minor prophets and he spoke to the northern kingdom probably around 735 to 700 BC. The Lord spoke through him over seven chapters concerning the coming destruction against God’s people. He prophesied during the days of King Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. And this book contains many uses of lament, justice, and walking with wisdom. And I love that. And I know most of us, just as you just said, Austin, love Micah 6, 8, do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. But I also want our readers to consider another verse. And so if you can turn to chapter seven, and I’m just gonna read really quickly verses 18 through 20. And again, I’m reading from the ESV, and this is what it’s… Austin (21:41.458) love this. Adrianna Anderson (21:44.128) Yes, this is what it says. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” I love it. Austin (22:23.858) Yes, thank you for reading that section. Within each of these books, there are multiple sections we could do, and for the sake of time, we can’t, I mean, it would be nice to just be able to read straight through the 12, we can’t do that, but thank you for highlighting that passage, it’s beautiful. Nahum. Adrianna Anderson (22:30.656) Right. Right. Right. Austin (22:41.234) Nahum is interesting because it’s kind of like Jonah 2 .0 because Jonah is called to prophesy to Nineveh and the Assyrians and when Jonah prophesies the people repent and there’s that great passage in Jonah who knows maybe the Lord will relent it’s it’s where it’s a shot we know he does that kind of thing. Nahum is another book of warning to the Assyrians and to Nineveh and it doesn’t look so good this time. Adrianna Anderson (22:45.376) Right? Adrianna Anderson (22:56.704) Hmm. Austin (23:09.234) Nahum warns that the Assyrians are going to face God’s judgment by the Chaldeans in the same way that Israel did. So while they may have been a tool of God’s judgment in the days of Isaiah, that doesn’t mean God has switched over to being favorably disposed towards them over Israel. Judgment’s coming for them too. Adrianna Anderson (23:09.696) Right. Adrianna Anderson (23:27.008) That’s right. You know, yeah. Austin (23:27.922) It’s kind of a bleak book. I mean, I’m sorry, just to add one more point, like Nahum opens with, you know, the pronouncements concerning Nineveh, the book of the visions of Nahum. And then we go into verse two. The Lord is a jealous and a venging God, and the Lord takes vengeance in fierce wrath. I mean, it’s like that sets the tone for the whole book. It’s it’s kind of bleak. Adrianna Anderson (23:42.736) Yes. Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (23:49.152) It does. It is a bleak book for sure. One of the things that I love though about the bleakness of this book is even Nahum’s name means counselor or consoler. So just think about that in the context of what we’ve just spoken about. But you know again he was one of the twelve minor prophets and prophesied against Nineveh and Assyria and he preached during a time when Nineveh wouldn’t repent. And much of his prophecy is directed towards the people of Judah. And while this is a bleak book, as you’ve noted, Austin, Nahum declared that God is sovereign and that he punishes who he will, period. One of the verses that I love out of this book comes from chapter one, verse seven, and it says, the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble. He knows those who take refuge in him. So again, even throughout the darkness of some of these books, we still see continually repeated that same theme of God’s mercy. and love for people. Austin (24:50.866) I just had a thought. I mean… This is just an aside for our listeners because one wonders when you read the book of Nahum, what relevance is this to me in my life, in my personal ministry, in my evangelism? And I think for a lot of us, we were sort of trained implicitly that it was a good thing in evangelism to downplay the judgment of God and to speak of God in sort of more warm fuzzies and to major on his mercy and minor on his judgment. And… What I’ve seen in evangelizing younger folks and college students in particular is that… in an age of moral chaos and moral relativism, a God who is sovereign and who judges wrongdoing is actually good news. Like we know it’s good news because it’s in the Word and God has revealed himself that way. But I would just I would just encourage listeners who are doing evangelism, the young folks in today’s chaotic world need to hear this and oftentimes want to hear this. Adrianna Anderson (25:43.904) Yes. Right. Adrianna Anderson (26:01.728) Yes, yes, so glad you called that out, Austin, so true, absolutely, yes. Because God loves us and because God loves people, he has to bring accountability and he uses those hard things and. judgments to bring us back to Himself. It’s not just because He’s God Almighty and He can do that and He certainly can, but there’s an end result, an end desire in mind and that is to lovingly bring people back to Himself. So thank you for pointing that out. So good. Austin (26:36.338) I mean, just… You know, the it’s all good moral relativism that is so prevalent, you know, that doesn’t work when you look, I mean, when apply that to the war in Ukraine or the conflict in Israel and Palestine, like people who are upset about the state of the world need to hear that there is a God who will judge the nations and who is ordering all things according to the counsel of his perfect will. Don’t that just my encouragement to our listeners, don’t shy away from the whole counsel of God’s word. Adrianna Anderson (26:45.696) No. Adrianna Anderson (26:50.944) Yeah. Right. Adrianna Anderson (27:00.672) Yes. That’s right. Austin (27:07.924) the whole thing. End of rant. I apologize. Moving on. Adrianna Anderson (27:08.512) That’s right. That’s right. No, you’re good. That’s good. Austin (27:14.738) back. Adrianna Anderson (27:16.16) Okay. Austin (27:17.266) I’ve been excited to get to this one because of all the 12, this one seems the most personal to me because it’s the series of exchanges between the prophet and God. And it’s, God is, I mean, in the same way that he’s tender with Jonah. Jonah’s, Akh -ne -flu -yah -ne -God, Habakkuk is much more humble, much more godly in his exchange, but he’s going to God and saying, God, don’t you care? Like, look at the corruption in Israel. Don’t you care? What are you gonna do about this? God comes back and says, actually, you’re, Adrianna Anderson (27:37.344) Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Right. Austin (27:47.172) you’re not going to like so much what I’m going to do about this. And Habakkuk comes back, help me understand, you know, that doesn’t seem right. And God patiently explains it to him. And Habakkuk, I mean, there’s this beautiful resolve in chapter three, 17 through 19 to praise the Lord regardless of circumstances. You know, though we will have no harvest, yet I will praise the Lord. It’s, I love this book. Adrianna Anderson (28:03.2) Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (28:13.504) Yeah. Yeah, it’s a great book and to your point, you know, as you initially introduced this, it is an amazing. sneak peek if you will or a view, if we’re thinking about looking into a window of a picture of this prophet having this conversation with God, his heavenly father, in the midst of having to pronounce judgment and all of these things, he’s being openly transparent with God. And so we know that he again was one of the 12 minor prophets. While we don’t know much about him, we do see that he probably prophesied between 640 to 615 BC before the fall of Assyria. And the main thing of Habakkuk speaks to how God can use a wicked nation for his divine purposes. Now that’s a head -scratcher in itself. And so, you know, one of the verses that I would say is kind of important to read. I would just direct listeners to obviously read the whole book, but… particularly if you can really hone in on chapter three, you’re gonna see this prayer of Habakkuk where he’s pouring out his heart, he’s talking to the Lord, and then how he ends in rejoicing in the Lord. And so again, it really speaks to that personal relationship that he had with God in the midst of a very hard assignment that God divinely gave him to accomplish. Austin (29:48.498) And it’s the same kind of thing, that same dynamic we talked about that we can praise God in all circumstances and that hope in God allows us to fully acknowledge hard things. We don’t have to pretend they’re not as bad as they are. Chapter 3, 16 and 17, it just… Adrianna Anderson (30:00.704) Yes. That’s right. Austin (30:07.602) I mean, rottenness entered my bones. The stalls are empty, the fields are empty, there’s no fruit on the vine, the crops fail, the flocks disappear, no herds in the stalls, yet I will praise the Lord. Yet. Like, it’s totally bleak. I mean, it’s not like he’s trying to see the best in bad circumstances or just drum up some hope. It’s like, no, this is really bad. It’s all bad. There’s no good here, but God is good. Adrianna Anderson (30:10.24) Yes. Adrianna Anderson (30:19.36) Yet. Pretty bleak picture. Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (30:28.072) Right. Adrianna Anderson (30:33.408) Right, but God is good. Yet will I praise him. Yet will I praise him. Austin (30:37.01) Love you, Beccik. Yet. well would love to dwell there and just just sit there for the rest of the episode unfortunately we gotta keep it moving but Zephaniah is an interesting one because it’s it’s all about the day of the Lord so most of the other books that mention the day of the Lord set it within a specific context of disobedience or judgment or offense this is just majoring on the day of the Lord and what it would mean what it would mean for Israel what it would mean for the nations and Adrianna Anderson (30:44.608) Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (30:53.952) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (31:07.296) Yeah. Austin (31:11.122) there’s this call within Zephaniah, these glimpses of mercy that God’s going to preserve a remnant through judgment and that on the day of the Lord, many from the nations will seek the Lord and live. We see that in chapter three, verse nine. Adrianna Anderson (31:23.072) Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Yeah, and again, Zephaniah is one of our 12 minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah. who actually brought spiritual revival to Judah after the long and disastrous reign of King Manasseh and some of our listeners may be familiar with him. But Zephaniah pronounced God’s judgment due to corruption and wickedness, but also his plan to restore. So there wasn’t just all the heavy, again, we see God’s mercy. And in particular, I love chapter three, verse 17, and it says, the Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you by His love. He will exult over you with loud singing.” And I’m pretty sure most of our listeners are very familiar with that verse and have used it, maybe seen it on a t -shirt or written somewhere. But again, a great reminder that in the midst of corruption and wickedness, God does have a plan to restore. Austin (32:29.106) A plan to restore, a plan to deal with wrongdoing, and I mean, verse 19, I will save the lame and gather the outcast. I will make those who are disgraced throughout the earth receive praise and fame. I mean, those two go together. Judgment and mercy go together. And they have to in a wicked world. Adrianna Anderson (32:32.224) Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (32:37.056) Mmm. Adrianna Anderson (32:44.64) They do. They do. Mm -hmm. That’s right. Austin (32:51.058) Haggai is an interesting one. I’ve heard different pronunciations. I apologize if I didn’t use your preferred one listener, but He’s a I’ll just say him. He is a contemporary of Ezra and Zerubbabel So in the time of his ministry the first wave of exiles had returned with Nehemiah They have rebuilt the walls and they began slowly rebuilding the city and things are generally looking good for God’s people I mean, they’re they’re back in the land. They’re rebuilding the city’s got walls Adrianna Anderson (32:55.52) It’s okay, yeah. Adrianna Anderson (33:03.232) Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (33:15.04) Mm -hmm. Austin (33:21.012) But Haggai comes along and rebukes the people for living in nice houses, paneled houses he calls them, while the temple is still in ruins. And that temple is important because God promises to shake the nations and show his glory from the temple in chapter 2. So the temple is essential for God’s plan not only for his people in Israel but for all the nations. That’s how he shows his glory. We saw that in the time of Solomon and the people are neglecting that. They’re worried about their own houses, their own situations. All right, we’ll get to the temple. Adrianna Anderson (33:46.816) Right. Austin (33:50.932) at some point down the road and along comes Haggad and says y ‘all’s priorities are skewed here. Adrianna Anderson (33:58.568) For sure. You know, again, one of our 12 minor prophets, you know, his message reignited actually the Jewish exiles to continue building the temple after they had given up hope and so and literally had given up building it. But this book really is a call to repent and to renew their covenant with God. And so again, in the midst of, you know, very bleak. times, you know, Haggai shows boldness in calling, you know, calling them to repent and to, again, put God first. One of the verses that I really love from this book comes from chapter one, verse five, and it says, Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, consider your ways. And that’s so fitting with what he has just said to the people. And so I think it’s also a message to us as Christians, we need to always consider our ways, because God certainly is. Austin (35:03.154) always a sobering thing when God says that, right? Straight up, goodness, yeah. Adrianna Anderson (35:06.304) Yeah. Straighten up. Austin (35:14.162) Zachariah, I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites. Zachariah is, I’ll say, one of my favorites of the 12. I love this book. It’s… Adrianna Anderson (35:21.632) One of your faves, okay. Austin (35:26.066) We’ll get to it, but he’s a contemporary of Ezra, is a Rupabullah Haggai. Zechariah calls on people to renew their covenant with God. But what I love so much about this book is it’s kind of like a mini Isaiah in that there are a lot of specific references to the Messiah. So just like the day of the Lord, how each time it comes up, we get a little bit more revelation about what the day of the Lord is going to be. Same with this figure of the Messiah. And Zechariah gets real specific. The restoration, Adrianna Anderson (35:29.344) Mm -hmm. Austin (35:56.02) of the house of David will involve the piercing of this figure and God’s people will mourn but this piercing will result in a fountain of mercy for the house of David to cleanse them from sin and it just it becomes a little bit of a head -scratcher for the people of God but it’s just more revelation of what the Messiah would do who he would be what he would be like and what his ministry would mean what his death would mean for God’s people. Adrianna Anderson (36:22.368) Yeah, for sure. Again. Zechariah, one of our twelve minor prophets, who not only called on the Jewish exiles to renew their covenant with God, but he also spoke to them about being concerned with social justice issues. Issues like caring for the widows, orphans, and foreigners. And, you know, it’s sad because today in culture you see even this, those two words, social justice, have been so taken out of context and just twisted and used in ways that are not appropriate. But again, if we want to know what true social justice looks like, we need to look at scripture and what God has to say about it. And he says it’s caring for widows, orphans, and foreigners. And so, you know, we want to love all people and be kind to them and show them God’s love. That’s really important for people to be able to truly hear the message and the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the verses that I love comes from the 14th chapter and the 9th verse, and it says, It says, and the Lord will be King over all the earth. On that day, the Lord will be one and his name one. I love it. Austin (37:36.05) I love it too. And to your point about social justice, I mean, people, that’s a buzzword, right? And people sort of reflexively line up pro or anti -social justice based on what they think it means. But, no, you’re totally fine. Adrianna Anderson (37:51.04) I’m sorry. Austin (37:55.25) So people line up pro or against social justice based on what they think it means. But just as a reminder for Christians, Christians can’t be against a just society as the Bible defines it. We are pro social justice biblically defined. And just don’t let your cultural or political or social leanings box you into something ungodly because it can happen regardless of your leanings based on what people twist words to mean. Just stay in the book. Define your terms by the book. Adrianna Anderson (38:21.568) That’s right. Yes. Yes. Austin (38:25.204) and let that be your guide regardless of what else is going on in the world. I can’t help but Bible nerd just a little bit in chapter 12. Depending on what Bible you have, in chapter 12 over verse 10 you might have a heading that says something like, morning for the one who is pierced, morning for the pierced one. Adrianna Anderson (38:33.152) Okay. Adrianna Anderson (38:43.712) Yeah. Austin (38:44.594) but this is prophecy about the Messiah and what the son of David is going to be like and who will mourn for him when he is lost. So who is his family? What’s his lineage? Now what’s interesting as you go here in verses 10 through 14, they will mourn for him every family by itself. The family of David, king. The family of Nathan, prophet. The family of Levi, priest. Adrianna Anderson (39:11.36) Mm -hmm. Austin (39:13.842) So this figure has all of these qualities bound up in himself. This pierced one will be a prophet, priest, and a king, son of David. And then chapter 13 verse 1, on that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem to wash away their sin and impurity. Adrianna Anderson (39:22.304) I love it. Adrianna Anderson (39:33.536) Ugh, man. Austin (39:36.178) It’s just, I mean, if you’re, you can, I get it, you can kinda glaze over reading some of these books, you get the unfamiliar names, you get these calls of judgment, but do the work and dig in, cause nuggets like that are just in here and you hit them and it just gives you goosebumps and it’s like, praise God that he has been this specific and this, this just detailed and fastidious over all of this. It’s all there. Adrianna Anderson (39:45.12) Right. Yes. Adrianna Anderson (39:55.84) Yes. Adrianna Anderson (40:04.224) Yeah. Hmm, that’s all there. Austin (40:06.322) Fun fact, Zechariah 13 .1, first sermon I ever preached. Adrianna Anderson (40:11.424) Yeah, awesome. Austin (40:13.426) Hopefully it’s not still out there on the internet somewhere. Adrianna Anderson (40:17.728) Sure, it’s amazing. Austin (40:19.506) That was something one of my seminary profs again says, like, if you’re gonna preach, you need to be punished by being forced to listen to your old sermons. And my punishment is more than I can bear. Adrianna Anderson (40:38.464) great. Austin (40:40.178) So the last one is Malachi. the last book of the Old Testament before God falls silent. And that’s an important thing because between the time of Malachi and the coming of John the Baptist, who we get a prophecy of in this book, there’s no prophets. There’s no prophecy. There’s no word from the Lord. It’s like Malachi is the last word before God drops the mic on his people. And there’s a few generations who don’t hear from God. And, you know, just put yourself in those shoes. You’ve got to wonder what’s God up to? What’s he, has he forgotten us. But it makes Malachi all that more important to see what does God want to leave his people with. And Malachi indicts the people for their failure to honor the priesthood and to support the work of the ministry. And then we get this prophecy of this messenger who would precede the Messiah and that the coming of the Messiah would open a window to heaven. We see those both in chapter three, which is just beautiful. Adrianna Anderson (41:22.016) Right. Adrianna Anderson (41:41.856) Yeah, it’s amazing, an amazing book and to your point, you know, between the time Malachi ended and the time of the New Testament starting, there was about 400 years of silence. Can you imagine not hearing from God for 400 years? I mean, that’s just like, let’s just pause and think about that. That’s sobering. It’s sobering. But Malachi, you know, as you said, he’s the final, he’s, you know, finally our. 12th prophet or 12th minor prophet, if you will, listed in the scripture. And this book does close out the Old Testament and Malachi calls the people to repent in some critical areas. So he addresses the priesthood which became corrupt, worship which had become ritualistic, social justice, so there it is again, which was being ignored. And then he addresses tithing which was being neglected. And so. A great book, highly recommend our listeners to go back and read it. One of the passages that I love comes from chapter four, verse two, and it says, but for you who fear my name, the son of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. And that’s pretty much a, wow, that’s an amazing statement and something we definitely want to pay attention to. Austin (43:03.73) You mentioned tithing earlier and it’s probably worth mentioning that because unfortunately as we’ve been going through the Old Testament, we’ve had to stop and sort of address passages that have been abused and used to teach things which are not true. Malachi chapter three is a favorite of prosperity gospel preachers teaching, yeah, groan is right. Like you hate to even bring it up and talk about it. You hate to give it air, but it’s used and twisted to say that Malachi is a Adrianna Anderson (43:15.072) Right. Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (43:21.504) Ugh. Adrianna Anderson (43:25.28) Right? Right. Right. Austin (43:33.684) calling people to give to the work of the ministry, which is right and good. God’s people should be generous towards the work of the ministry. We see that in the Old Testament and the New, but it’s been used and twisted to say if you give, it will be given back to you monetarily. That, you know, all you need to do is sow some kind of seed of financial blessing and it will create a windfall and people are using that to rob the people of God and to make themselves rich off of folks who maybe can’t even afford to give at the level they’re being called to give. Adrianna Anderson (43:37.504) Mm -hmm, right. Adrianna Anderson (43:42.432) That’s right. Adrianna Anderson (43:47.104) Yes. Adrianna Anderson (43:51.584) Right. Ugh. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Austin (44:03.604) by these false prophets and it’s just it’s maddening so got to name it and just say that’s not in here and if you have a bad taste in your mouth about Malachi from some of those folks that’s not what Malachi wrote go and read it you’ll see it’s not in there Adrianna Anderson (44:05.12) Right, absolutely. Yeah. Adrianna Anderson (44:14.304) No. Adrianna Anderson (44:18.848) Right, exactly, that’s right, absolutely. You know, and that’s another way that the enemy robs people. So not only is the prosperity gospel is used to rob people financially, but because people are not aware of what scripture says to your point, go and read the book. and really gain some understanding of what is being said there. You know, we’re robbed spiritually as well when we fall prey to those things. And anyone can fall prey to that. So we’re not specifically calling out a certain, you know, group of people. Anyone can fall prey. And we fall prey because we become ignorant to what scripture says. And that’s why I believe the Lord is admonishing all of us, me, you, all of our listeners, to be good stewards of what His Word says, to study, to show our self -approved so that we can be workmen that can rightly divide the word of truth. And so in those ways, when we know what his word says, we won’t be robbed, we won’t be deceived. And so fall in love with scripture. This is our guidebook for life. And so that’s what I would say to kind of end us on this book today. Austin (45:30.61) I can’t do any better than that. I have really enjoyed this. We’ve got, I think, two episodes left. We’re gonna be taking a quick break. There are a couple of authors who we’re gonna interview coming up on the podcast. And then we’re gonna do two more episodes, or two or one. I’m gonna have to go back and look. I know we still gotta cover the wisdom literature. But this has been a delight. It’s been so much fun to be in God’s Word with you to dig up these nuggets. And I hope folks are reading along and enjoying it themselves. Adrianna Anderson (45:35.424) Yeah. Yep. Adrianna Anderson (45:41.472) Mm -hmm. Adrianna Anderson (45:48.736) Yes. Adrianna Anderson (45:57.696) Yeah, I know. Austin (45:58.482) much much to pray from these books and from these themes. Would you like to open us and I can close? Adrianna Anderson (46:05.024) That sounds great. Father, thank you so much for this time. Lord, thank you for technology that allows us to be in separate places, but still be able to connect with people across and around the world. Lord, we’re so thankful for these 12 minor prophets that we’ve been able to discuss today. And Lord, thank you for the messages that we’ve been able to glean and share and just meditate on. And Lord, thank you for the resounding message that came across very clearly in each one of these books. And that is you are a merciful God full of compassion, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. And Lord, that is our prayer. prayer today for anyone that is listening to this episode and any of these episodes father that you would draw them to yourself through your son Jesus Christ and it’s in your name I pray amen. Austin (47:03.218) Amen. Lord, thank you for everything Adriana just said. Thank you for this time in your word. Thank you for the rich picture that it paints of you. Thank you for your plan for the nations. And Lord, thank you most of all that you have and continue to make good on all of your promises in Christ Jesus. That the prophet, priest, and king that Zechariah told us about has come and has authority over all of the earth and is building his church from all peoples to the ends of the earth. Lord help us to be a part of that, help us to rejoice in that, and help us to be sobered to obedience by these calls to repentance and calls to faithfulness and reminders of your kind and merciful character who we can trust. Help us do that in Jesus name, amen. Adrianna Anderson (47:54.464) Amen. Austin (47:56.178) Well, thank you again for this time and friends, thank you so much for listening. I hope you’re encouraged. Praise and peace. Adrianna Anderson (48:03.2) Grace and peace.

 

To learn more about United? We Pray, follow us on Twitter and keep exploring our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recent POdcasts

Transracial Adoption with Brittany Salmon

Transracial Adoption with Brittany Salmon

Transracial Adoption Brittany Salmon is a scholar and author of It Takes More than Love: A Christian Guide to Navigating the Complexities of Cross-Cultural Adoption (Moody, 2022). She is also the adoptive mother to three children who do not share her ethnicity, so her...

read more
Raising the Next Generation

Raising the Next Generation

Raising the Next Generation | Parenting Few things are as difficult as parenting. If you desire to raise your kids to be agents of unity among God's people, it is even harder. Josh Chatman, host of the Train 'em Up podcast stops by to talk about parenting. Austin and...

read more

Upcoming Events

Isaac-Adams-United-We-Pray-speaking-at-an-event

Click Here to View Now

Recent Articles

Confidence in the Wrong Place

Confidence in the Wrong Place

In 1908, G.K. Chesterton warned Christian readers that various influences were eroding society’s ability to learn:  But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. . . . A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this...

read more
Memorial Day: Remembering vs. Not Forgetting

Memorial Day: Remembering vs. Not Forgetting

What’s the difference between remembering and not forgetting? That’s the question I started asking myself as I thought about Memorial Day. I forget an awful lot of things. For example: usernames and passwords. Ever forget either of these (don’t say you forget both) to...

read more
Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

On Monday, our nation observed Presidents’ Day. This holiday gives us an opportunity to honor the role and office of President in our country. It also serves as an opportunity to reflect how we as Christians can pray for those who represent us as citizen servants in...

read more

Author

  • United? We Pray

    United? We Pray is a ministry to help Christians pray and think about racial strife. We want to encourage Christians amid the strife to rely upon God in prayer. So our prayers can be informed, we strive to learn and write about race, racism and its effects, and theology. We aim to be biblical, beneficial, and clear in all our efforts. While we’re burdened for all racial strife, we focus on racial strife between Christians because of the unique privilege and stewardship God has given his people: to bear witness to Him and to love all people, especially one another (Gal. 6:10).

All Podcast Episodes

Stay Connected