The next to the last book of the O.T. is the most difficult of the Minor Prophets. It's also the longest. The difficulty is not in the length but the interpretation of the visions and prophecies regarding God's Holy City and his people. Zechariah is truly messianic, apocalyptic and eschatological. We address these topics briefly and look at the central theme of encouragement in this book.
The book of Haggai has a very contemporary message: put first things first. Ironically, it was originally given to people a lot like us. There were people who would have agreed God is paramount, but they weren't acting like he was. In this lesson, we observe three ways we can make sure God is really first in our lives.
Do we really believe in the God we say we believe in? Based on how we live, it's a fair question. In this lesson, as we kick-off our evangelism series, the goal is to really see God as a God who is amazing, inspiring and immeasurable. It is this God who empowers us to take his message to the lost. Yet, despite what we say we believe, we sometimes limit God by our actions. The challenge is presented to avoid this fear and some examples are given to show how to do overcome this
The book of Zephaniah deals with the unpleasant subject of God's judgment. It is specifically mentioned in 1 out of every 3 verses but also the majority of the three short chapters of this book stay on the subject. Yet, a study of Zephaniah is beneficial in that it reveals that God's judgment reveals purification, hope and a promise of a future kingdom where Jesus rules and saves.
If you've ever wanted to ask God some questions about your concerns, you have something in common with the prophet Habakkuk. Amazingly, this prophet has a conversation with God. God hears his questions, answers them and then allows him to be comforted in the reassurance that although it seems like God has lost control of the world, he really hasn't.
You can have a good, comfortable and even successful life without God, but you can't have the "best life" without God. Psalms 112 is a reminder that there are blessings that come with being obedient to God's word and those blessings will make your life the best it can be.
In 100 years a lot can happen. Such was the case for the Assyrian city of Nineveh. The city repented at the preaching of Jonah, but now Nahum spells out her doom because she regressed back into sin. This prophecy is a "consolation" (the meaning of Nahum's name) for Judah to know God remembers his people and punishes his enemies.
Psalm 111 puts God where he belongs! It reminds us that God deserves our praise. Even though this psalm is poetic, it breaks down nicely into three areas of praise to God, which are highlighted in this lesson.
Isaiah and Micah were contemporaries who preached and prophesied to Judah, the southern kingdom. While being a "country prophet" Micah argued God's case like a big city lawyer. Three sermons make up the seven chapters of this book. In each sermon, there is "judgment" and "hope." We also highlight the well-know Micah 6:8 passage and explain how it fits into the context of the overall book.
"Man who is born of woman..." - most can complete the verse from Job 14:1 from there. We live in our reality (America) but understand two kingdoms are at odds with each other: the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of Christ. In a world with so many pressing problems (which we highlight briefly in this lesson), Christians need to make sure we respond to this problem in a healthy way. The "challenge" of this lesson is to accept that the Gospel changes things one life at a time and that starts with us!