• January 8, 2018 /  Uncategorized

    Haggai means “festal one.”  We know nothing about him aside from this book and Ezra 5:1, and 6:14.

    Main Idea(s)

    The exiles returned from Babylon, but did not consider it important to rebuild the Temple.  God rebukes then, and they repent and build the Temple.  God tells them that the new Temple would be greater than that of Solomon, much as it would appear otherwise.  This is symbolic of the great things that God would do preparing the way for the Messiah to come.

    Target: Judah

    Time Period

    • Contemporary of Zechariah
    • During the reign of Darius the Mede

    Famous verses and fragments

    2:6-9

    Questions

     

    1. What is different about the last three books of the Minor Prophets?
    2. How much time elapses during the book?
    3. Why do you suppose they did not think it was time to build the Temple? Is that similar to anything in our lives?
    4. Why does God rebuke them? How does he get their attention?
    5. What effect did his message have?
    6. Why are Zerubbabel and Joshua significant with respect to building the Temple?
    7. What did God want for the materials of his Temple? How is that different than Solomon’s Temple?
    8. Why might the people have been discouraged at the appearance of the Temple? How does God encourage them?
    9. What is the second problem that God has with those in Judah? 2:10-19 What does this imply about our good works?
    10. Does their uncleanness prevent God’s blessing in this case?
    11. How would the glory of this Temple be greater than that of the former?
    12. What is the greater plan of God in the midst of all of this? 2:6-9, 2:20-23?
    13. How is Zerubbabel significant here? What does he prefigure?
  • January 6, 2018 /  Uncategorized

    Zephaniah means one who is hidden (protected) by Yahweh

    Main Idea(s)

    God will judge Judah, and all of the nations around her for their sins.  After that, he will bring Judah back from exile, and call Gentile nations to follow Him.  This is the book of the Day of the LORD.  There are 7 occurrences out of 53 verses.

    Target: Judah, and to a lesser extent the nations around it who would be judged by God using Babylon

    Time Period

    • Contemporary of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Nahum
    • During the reign of Josiah
    • Prior to the destruction of Assyria, like Nahum

    Famous verses and fragments

    3:9, 3:14, 3:17

    Questions

    1. During whose reign did Zephaniah prophesy?
    2. During what part of the reign? Does it matter?
    3. What are the two main divisions of the book?
    4. Of what nature is his prophecy and for whom was it intended?
    5. Did God kill everything? (1:2-3) What does He mean?
    6. What particular sorts of people was He going to judge? (1:4-13)
    7. Of what dreadful day does Zephaniah warn Jerusalem? What historical events fulfilled the prophecy?
    8. What should we think about the phrase “The Day of the LORD?” (1:7-2:3)
    9. What things that are commonly relied on would not help them in the Day of the LORD?
    10. Against what nations is judgment pronounced in Zephaniah? (2:4-3:7)
    11. How would Judah fare in the judgment of other nations?
    12. What will be the fate of Nineveh? What vice lay at the root of her evil-doing?
    13. Is Judah much better? Why is judgment coming to them? (3:1-7)
    14. What comforting message does Zephaniah bring? (3:8-13) How will Judah and the nations change?
    15. What are the main emphases of the song of rejoicing at the end? (3:14-20)
  • January 3, 2018 /  Uncategorized

    Habakkuk means embracer – one who comforts.

    Main Idea(s)

    During a time of great evil in Judah, Habakkuk calls out to God.  God tells him that he will use Babylon to purge the evil out of Judah.  This puzzles Habakkuk, who questions God, and gains a greater view of God’s righteousness, and that the Lord is pleased by faith.

    Target: Judah, and to a lesser extent Babylon

    Time Period

    • Contemporary of Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Nahum
    • Possibly during the reign of Manasseh.

    Famous verses and fragments

    1:5, 2:1, 2:4b, 2:20, 3:17-19a

    Questions

    1. How does Habakkuk teach us how to speak with God?
    2. What are the two main divisions of the book?
    3. How does the spirit of the first part differ from that of the second part?
    4. What nation’s rise to power brought about the prophecy of Habakkuk?
    5. What deep question initially troubled Habakkuk?
    6. How are the Chaldeans described in Chapter 1?
    7. What question concerning this nation’s power vexed the prophet?
    8. What answer does the prophet find?
    9. How is the great truth in 2:4 developed – what is it opposed to?
    10. Where is it quoted in the New Covenant? Did anyone notable ever get affected by the verse?
    11. List the five woes Habakkuk gives in Chapter 2? Does the US possess any of these?
    12. How is the judgment of Babylon described in Chapter 2?
    13. In Chapter 3, how does Habakkuk describe the righteousness of God?
    14. Why does he describe God as a warrior? Should that encourage us?
    15. In what words does the prophet express the strength of his faith in God?
    16. What should we, or do you, learn from the book?