Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bible Challenge 10/16 - 10/22

Greetings All!

We're almost through with the entire Old Testament - just one more week after this one! This week we continue our way through the minor prophets as we finish all of Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai and get partway through Zephaniah.

Micah - The name of this prophet means "Who is like Yahweh?" and he hails from the southern kingdom of Judah. This book has three major divisions (1-2, 3-5, 6-7) and each alternates announcements of doom with expressions of hope. He reproaches unjust leaders, defends the rights of the poor against the rich and the powerful, and preaches social justice while looking forward to the time of the Messiah (the world of peace under a new king from the line of David).

Nahum - Nahum means "comforter" and yet his book is not about comfort. This prophet followed Jonah in prophesying to Ninevah around the time of the invasion of Jerusalem by the Assyrians. Ninevah was the capital city of the Assyrian empire and this book deals with prophecies regarding its complete and final destruction.

Habakkuk - Not much is known about Habakkuk. Because the final chapter of his book is a song or psalm, many scholars believe that he was from the tribe of Levi which served as musicians in Solomon's Temple. One of the interesting features of this book is the conversation between God and Habakkuk.

Zephaniah - The great-grandson of one of Judah's kings (Hezekiah), Zephaniah prophesied during the days of King Josiah in Judah and was one of Jeremiah's contemporaries. His book contains many warning about the "day of the Lord," a judgment that will extend beyond Judah to other nations including Assyria. In fact, Assyria did collapse in 625 BC when Ninevah burned to the ground.

Haggai - Haggai was one of the prophets who ministered after the return of the people from exile to Jerusalem. Both chapters of this book urge the people to proceed with the rebuilding of the temple.

Zechariah - Like Haggai, Zechariah ministered to the exiles after they returned to Jerusalem. His name means "Yahweh has remembered" and he was of the priestly line. The first six chapters deal mainly with the nation's past history told through a series of eight visions. Two years elapse between that and chapters 7-8 which deal with the question of whether the days of mourning for the destruction of the city should be kept any longer.

Here is the schedule:

16, Sunday: Micah 1-4

17, Monday - Micah 5-7; Nahum 1

18, Tuesday - Nahum 2-3; Habakkuk 1-2

19, Wednesday - Habakkuk 3; Zephaniah 1-3

20, Thursday - Haggai 1-2; Zechariah 1-2

21, Friday - Zechariah 3-6

22, Saturday - Zechariah 7-10

May God bless the reading, the hearing and most importantly the living out of His Holy Word. Amen!

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