Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, with 21 verses in only 1 chapter. It is a message of destruction to Edom. Do you remember the sons of Isaac, Jacob and Esau? The twelve tribes of Israel and Judah were descendants of Jacob. Edom was the country of the descendents of Esau. God’s message through Obadiah was that Edom should not have rejoiced when Jerusalem was destroyed and one day Edom would be destroyed, and there would be no people left of Esau.
Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrians, who were wicked enemies of Israel. When God told Jonah to go preach to Nineveh he did not want to go so he got on a ship to go as far away from Nineveh as he could. Jonah found out that he could not hide from God. God sent a great storm and Jonah admitted that he ran from God. He told the men of the ship to throw him overboard. They tried to row the boat but could not, so they threw Jonah into the sea and it was suddenly calm. God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. After 3 days in the belly of the whale (Matthew 12:40) Jonah prayed and the whale spit out Jonah onto the dry land. Jonah went and preached to Nineveh that God would destroy them in 40 days and they believed Jonah and repented. Jonah sat down outside the city and waited to see God destroy them, but God did not because they repented. Jonah became very angry with God. God prepared a gourd that grew up and gave Jonah shelter from the heat and Jonah was glad of the gourd plant. The next day God prepared a worm that ate part of the gourd and it withered. Then God prepared a hot east wind and the sun made Jonah very hot and he was angry that the gourd died. God explained to Jonah that just as he had pity on the gourd, couldn’t God have pity on Nineveh, with 120,000 people who did not know their left hand from their right (children?) and much cattle?
Micah was a prophet to Israel and Judah warning of God’s judgment because of their great sin and idol worship. He also prophesied that the coming Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2) Another great verse is Micah 6:8. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Jonah preached to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and they repented and God did not destroy them at that time. The Assyrians rose again as wicked warriors that Nahum compared to lions, tearing their prey in pieces. Nahum preached God’s message of doom to this wicked city with a special message to His people. “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7) Nineveh had great walls for protection around their city, but floodwaters dissolved their mud-brick walls and Nineveh was destroyed just as Nahum predicted. “But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof…” (Nahum 1:8) “The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.” (Nahum 2:6)
Habakkuk begins by asking God why He does not punish His wicked people. God answers that the Chaldeans will come and take the land in violence. Habakkuk then asks God why He uses a nation of people who are more wicked than His people to punish them. God answers that those wicked people will be destroyed also, “but the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
Zephaniah was the great-great grandson of good King Hezekiah. He preached that “the great day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14) was near and Judah and Jerusalem would be punished for their idol worship. He also preached of God’s judgment on other nations. In the end, God promised to turn back the captivity of Jerusalem.
Week 6 -- Do You Know???
1. Circle True or False
True False The nations of Judah and Israel were Jacob’s descendants
True False Edom was the country of Esau’s descendants
True False Jonah was glad that Nineveh repented to God
2. Who ran from God and was swallowed by a great fish? ___________
3. What happened when the people of Nineveh heard Jonah’s message?
4. Where did Micah say the Messiah would be born? ______________
5. What 3 things does God require in Micah 6:8? __________________
____ Obadiah A) Was swallowed by a whale when he ran from God
____ Jonah B) Prophesied of complete destruction of Nineveh ____ Micah C) Warned of “the great day of the Lord” - judgment
____ Nahum D) Prophecy of Jesus to be born in Bethlehem
____ Habakkuk E) God’s message of judgment to Edom
____ Zephaniah F) Asked God why He used wicked people to punish His people