Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bible Challenge: 10/13 - 10/19

Greetings All!

This week's reading has us finishing up the book of Amos and working through Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and most of Zephaniah. By the end of next week we will be done with the Old Testament. To help you with your reading here is a bit of background information for you to keep in mind as you read.

Obadiah is said to have been a convert to Judaism, as originally he was from Edom (those descended from Esau). This makes him the perfect person to go back and prophesy against Edom for their arrogance and wickedness.

Jonah and the whale right? But the best part of this story is that this prophet really understands the heart of God and wrestles with that. For he is reluctant to pronounce judgment because he knows God's heart of mercy and love and he doesn't want to see the Ninevites forgiven.

The name, Micah, 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 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.

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.

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. And Assyria did collapse in 625 BC when Ninevah burned to the ground.

Here is the schedule:

13, Sunday: Amos 2-5

14, Monday: Amos 6-9

15, Tuesday: Obadiah 1 - Jonah 3

16, Wednesday: Jonah 4 - Micah 3

17, Thursday: Micah 4-7

18, Friday: Nahum 1 - Habakkuk 1

19, Saturday: Habakkuk 2 - Zephaniah 2

May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing, the understanding and most importantly the living out of His holy word. Amen.

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