Focused Study of the Old Testament: Prophets _08
The book of Nahum relates to the book of Jonah in that it (Nahum) sounds the death-knell for Nineveh. Conversely, the book of Jonah brought God’s message to the people of Nineveh about its destruction, and this saw them repent (Hays and Tremper 320). In both books, the major argument is that God detests nations that do not worship Him.
As articulated in Habakkuk, “the righteous will live by his faith” means that despite all the troubles and suffering that human beings will endure, those who are righteous will be kept strong by the faith they have in God (Snyman 422). Paul underscores the statement in Romans 1:17 by saying that God’s righteousness is exhibited in the faith of people and that righteous people will live by the faith of God.
In Zephaniah 2:3, it is articulated that people who have upheld God’s justice and who are meek of the earth seek the Lord, righteousness, and humility. These would help human beings evade God’s anger in the end times. The relationship between humility, obedience, and righteousness is that the qualities connect human beings to God. Apparently, God cannot bring destruction to people with righteousness, humility, and obedience (Hays and Tremper 334). The verse relates to Habakkuk 2:4-5 because it condemns pride and instead insists on humility, obedience, and righteousness (Snyman 422).
Zephaniah 3:17 talks about the righteous people of Israel who God will save, rejoice over them with gladness, and rejoice over them with singing. This means that God gives preference to righteous people who respect Him, and protects them from enemies. In this case, the singing of Yahweh is figurative because it brings the notion that the righteous people of Israel are made happy by God. God does not sing, and this is supported by the fact that no verse in the Bible tells us about God singing.
Zechariah 4:6 is about the talk between Zechariah the prophet and an angel of God. The angel said that God had sent word to Zerubbabel discouraging his use of might, and power to lead his people (Hays and Tremper 348). In this verse, it comes out clearly that God prefers leaders who embrace His Spirit when leading others and disowns those who embrace power and might. The verse is applicable today because the modern-day leaders are urged to embrace the spirit of God for effective leadership to be seen.
Malachi 4:5 talks about Elijah the prophet being sent to the Israelites before the coming of the Lord (Hays and Tremper 365). The opinion is that that Elijah would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and vice versa. This prophecy is fulfilled in the Gospel books as John the Baptist is seen preparing and making people aware and ready for the coming of the Son of God. John the Baptist baptizes people and makes them righteous in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament confirms the fact that God blesses people with material blessings if they are obedient to Him. First, in the Gospel books, the relationship between obedience and material blessings is evident when the Jews thought that by obeying God, they would receive His blessings in primarily physical and material terms. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 also illustrates that the material blessings of the rich man was because he was obedient to God and that Lazarus’ suffering was because of his lack of obedience to God.
Hays, J D, and Tremper Longman. Message of the Prophets: A Survey of the Prophetic and Apocalyptic Books of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2010. Internet resource.
Snyman, S. D. “Non-violent prophet and violent God in the book of Habakkuk.” Old Testament Essays 16.2, 2003: p-422.