FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


Old Testament Survey: the Book of Zechariah

The Book Of Zechariah 

Introduction: Like Haggai, Zechariah was a prophet to the Jewish remnant that returned after the 70 year exile.  Much of Zechariah is to be interpreted in light of related prophecy.  This Book is surpassed in prophecies of Christ only by the Book of Isaiah.

The man and the Book: The name Zechariah means: remembered of the Lord.

His work began approximately 2 months after Haggai’s and their works parallel each other. Most of this Book is made up of eight (8) visions encouraging the rebuilding of the Temple and four (4) visions of the Messianic Kingdom.

Eight Visions

 

I.   The Rider On The Red Horse – Chap. 1

     A.  Vs 8: Myrtle Trees =  an emblem of peace; intimating that  all war  was to end shortly

     B.  Vs 8: The Man = Vs 9 “oh my lord”  “And the angel that talked with me …”

           Vs 11-12: the angel of the Lord. … This man is the pre-incarnate Christ, the second

           person of the Trinity.

     C.  Vs 8: riding = implies swiftness in executing God’s will in His providence; hastening to

           help His people.

     D. Vs 8: “in the bottom …” = in a low place or by the river bottom, as in “bottom land”.

          The Euphrates and Tigris River in Babylon, was the scene of Judah’s captivity.       

     E. Red Horse = this implies bloodshed – this implies the vengeance that will come upon the

          enemies of Israel.

     F. Vs 8: red horses “speckled and white” = the white implies victory and triumph for Judah

         Speckled = from a Hebrew word meaning “to intertwine” the red was mixed with the white

         which shows the  wrath (red)  about to come upon  Judah’s  enemies and “triumph” (white)

         for Judah.

     G. Vs 16: prophecy of the Lord’s return and the Temple to be rebuilt

II.  The Four Horns –  Four Carpenters – chap. 1:18- 21

      A. Vs 18:  Horns are symbols of power

           1. Four horns = the four (4) powers that had oppressed the Jews: Babylon, Persia,

               Chaldea, and Egypt.

           2. The head of each power is their king; so a horn  also represents the king of each nation

      B. Vs 20-21: carpenters = craftsman or an engraver. They work in brass and iron as well as

           working in wood.

           1. These are four other powers who would defeat  the powers represented by the four

               horns

           2. Vs 21: “these  are come to fray …”  the carpenters will “fray” or beat down, to destroy,

               the horns.

NOTES: God will always find men to do his work – there were horns to be cut off. Here are the carpenters or artificers; God will always find the right sort of men. God choose men of ability to empower them to do His will and to defeat the enemy..

God will always find enough men to do His work and His will. There were four horns, so are there four smiths to beat them to pieces.  Empires which have opposed the Lord have been crushed to powder, it always be so. No power can stand against the Lord of Hosts.    

III. The Man With The Measuring Line – Chap. 2

      A. The City of Jerusalem shall be (future tense) restored and made bigger or enlarged: 2:2-5

      B. Those Jews exiled will return to the Land: 2:6-7

      C. Jehovah God will protect His people and He will make their enemies a “spoil:” 2:8-9

      D. Many nations will be converted or joined to the Lord: 2:10-13

      E. Man with a measuring line: 2:1

          1.  He is also represented in Ezekiel 40:3 

          2.  He is found in Revelation 21:15 & Ezekiel 41:1-26

          3. There are several other Scriptures which represent this … The Man is none other than

              God Himself. The Jews are, here, encouraged to go forward with the building of the

              Temple and they are also encouraged for future restoration.

V. Visions Four Through Eight

      A. Four: Joshua, the High Priest and satan- chap. 3

           1. This pictures the removing of iniquity and the future glory of Israel

           2. When we stand before God, to serve Him, or stand up for God, we must expect to

               meet all the resistance satan’s subtlety and malice can give to us

           3. Vs 3: filthy garments = their removal is symbolic of the removing of iniquity from

              Joshua … representing his people.

      B. Five: The golden candlestick and the  two olive trees -chap. 4

           1. Vs 2: candlestick is light = Israel was to send forth the light of the Gospel;

               the Temple was to be rebuilt – vs 9 – so that the Word of God  could be sent forth as a

               light shining in a world full of the darkness of sin.

           2. Vs 11-14: reference to Revelation 11:3-4

      C. Six: The Flying roll; 5:1-4

           1. This represents the Word of God that judges

           2. Vs 2: 30’ X 14’

           3. Vs 4: The Word of God goes against sin and wickedness

      D. Seven: the “epah” vs 6, was the old time Jewish symbol for trade and the woman,

           1. Vs 7: the two women, vs 9; represent Babylonian corruption which leavened the

               commerce of the remnant that had returned. The two women, more specifically, are

               sent to carry away the corrupt woman.

           2. Vs 9: Stork = an unclean bird

      E. Eight: The Four War Chariots; chap. 6:1-8

          1. The judgment of the Lord upon the nations

          2. Vs 9-15: Joshua is crowned as a type of Christ … the immediate meaning of  that is

              simply: Jehovah God, as He sends forth His chariot judgment on the Gentile powers that

              surrounded Israel, has returned with mercies and gracious promises to His remaining

              people.

          3. Vs 1: four chariots represent swift coming, Divine judgment

          4. Four angels driving the chariots are  … vs 5, the four spirits of the heavens.

NOTES: The underlying idea that runs throughout this prophecy is summed up in chapter 1:14-16. This Book takes us to the immediate need of God’s people to the ultimate fulfillment at Christ’s second Coming. We also can realize why these passages are relating to the future is that when the Messiah came and offered Himself to His people, Israel, they rejected Him and crucified Him.

V.   The Law And The Restoration And Enlargement Of Israel: chap. 7-8

       A. To obey is better than fasting: chap. 7:1-7

       B. Their past misery was because of their disobedience: 7:8-14

       C. The people need restoration: chap. 8

VI.  The Four Visions Of The Messianic Kingdom: chaps. 9-14

        A. The Messianic King: chap. 9-10

        B. The rejected Shepherd: chap. 11

        C. The restored and penitent people: chaps. 12-13

        D. Summarized events when Christ returns in glory: chap. 14



Old Testament Survey: Book of Haggai

The Book Of Haggai

Introduction: Haggai was relatively unknown but he voiced God’s message to the leaders of the Jews who had returned after 70 years of captivity.  

 Haggai writes to:

1. Rebuke and to instruct the remnant of the Jews: they were divided.

2. To admonish and to encourage the builders of God’s House.

The man and the Book: Haggai was born in Babylon and he returned to the Land. This was done due to the decree of Cyrus under Zerubbabel.

This Book covers a period of about 4 months, in the year of 520 B.C.  It takes place 16 years after the return of the first group who came back to the Land.

Haggai writes regarding their problem: 14 years of inactivity. The Temple should have been rebuilt but the people didn’t build it.

The people were in apathy and that is why they basically sat there doing nothing in the Lord’s work for those 14 years.

Central message: Chapter 1:7-8 

Haggai’s Four Fold Message

 I.   The Appeal To Rebuild The Temple: Chap. 1

      A. Build The House

           1. Vs 2:  “the  people say”

           2. Vs 3-4: God’s Word says …..

                a. God’s Word came to Haggai, God’s man

                b. God was leading Haggai to rebuke and to encourage – His House needed to be built

      B. Vs 5 – “…Consider your ways:” their thinking; attitudes; direction; needed to change

           1.  Vs 6: God was not blessing them in any labor of their hands, unless they rebuild His

                Temple and restore His worship

                a. God will not bless our labors when we fail to follow His Word.

                b. They thought they could escape poverty by keeping their money and not give it to

                    God’s House; there was not enough to rebuild God’s House because of that

                    Proverbs 13:7 and 11:24

                    Instead of cheating God; they cheated themselves

                c. Sown: but crop failures … bring in little = not enough food to eat

                d. Not filled with drink: nothing satisfied them

                e. Because of crop failures, there was not enough money to buy clothing

                f. Their wages went into a bag full of holes: figurative. No matter how much they

                    made … there was never enough to go around.

           2. Vs 7: Consider your ways. Is it right to build a nice house and neglect God’s house

                consider whether  your lack is due to God’s punishment due to your lack of giving

                God what is really His

 II. A Message Of Support: Chap 2

     A. Vs 4: “… I am  with you …”  – Hebrews 13:5

     B. “Be strong …”  don’t let this discourage you       

     C. Vs 6-7: God is in control

          1. Vs 6: God will shake the heavens etc.

          2. Vs 7: God will shake all nations

          3. Vs 8: poverty should not hinder them …. all things come from God. Depend on Him for

              their financial needs

 III. A Message To Confirm: Chap. 2

      A. Vs 19: “from this day will I bless you.”

      B. The seed has been planted 

           1. Harvest is months away

           2. Harvest of the fruit trees is also a while off

           3. In the past, they have had crop failures

           4. God’s Word says: trust in the Lord and not in nature

           5. Their obedience will bring the blessing of God

IV.  A Message To Assure: Chap. 2

       A. Vs 23: “I will take thee”  “I will make thee  as”  “ I have chosen thee”

            1. I will take thee: God’s leading and protection

            2. I will make thee as a signet:  a  signature ring used as a seal. God will make them

                very precious. He will exalt Zerubbabel to high dignity and power. He shall be

                precious

            3. I have chosen thee: “chosen” here, means appointed. God had a work for him to do.

                God had a plan for Zerubbabel and He has a plan for you.

       B. God’s Word gives assurance

            1. Acts 17:31

            2. Colossians 2:2

Conclusion: Matthew 6:33 is a great rule in God’s Word to follow. When we “consider our ways” and turn back to God, obey His Word in ALL things … He will bless.



Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Habakkuk

The Book Of Habakkuk

The Human Writer: Habakkuk prophesied during the later years of King Josiah. He also lived during the time of Jeremiah. The name Habakkuk means: “embracing.”

Habakkuk speaks to God concerning Habakkuk’s concerns about God’s working among the nations. Habakkuk 1:4; 1:13 = why do the wicked prosper?

 The Central Message of the book: Chapter 2:4b “… but the just shall live by his faith.”

 Background: The Assyrian Empire had fallen as Nahum had prophesied: Egypt and Babylon were trying to dominate the world. The Babylonians and Chaldeans were united together under King Nebuchadnezzar and would conquer Judah.

Habakkuk could not understand why a nation like Babylon, with all its wickedness, could conquer a nation like Judah. After all, Judah’s sins were not as bad as Babylon’s sins.

This seemed like evil was wining out over good. So, God shows Habakkuk His plan.

Brief outline of this Book

I.   The Burden – Chap. 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The apparent triumph of s

II.   The Vision – Chap. 2

                             Coming punishment of the Chaldeans

                                                                                 III.   The Prayer – Chap. 3

                                                                                          Confidence that God is coming

I.    The Burden

      A. Chap. 1:1: he saw

           1. Vs 2: he cried

           2. Vs 2: he did not believe that God heard his cry of prayer

           3. Vs 2: why does not God save?

      B. He wonders why the wicked prosper?

          1. The Chaldeans are bitter and nasty: Vs 6 – 7

          2. Vs 9: they come for violence.

 II.   The Vision

      A. Chap. 2:4: “… the just shall live by his faith.”

           This verse is quoted 3 X’s in the New Testament

      B. Chap. 2:14: The earth filled with God’s glory

      C. Chap. 2:20: The Lord … in His Holy Temple: Psalm 11:4

 III. The Prayer

      A. Chap. 3:2: Revive Thy work

      B. We find Habakkuk praising God, who will always work things out for His glory and

           honor. Our part, take time to talk to Him in prayer; study His Word; wait patiently for

           Him.

 Five Woe’s In The Book Of Habakkuk

 1. A Woe against aggression: 2:5-8.

    This speaks of the doom, some think, of Nebuchadnezzar, who was principally active in the

     destruction of Jerusalem

 2. A Woe against covetousness 2:8-11

3. A Woe against violence: 2:12-14. Vs 14 is from Isaiah 11:9.

    Vs 13, all the Babylonian cities will be burnt down: Jeremiah 51:58.

    God defeats the enemy and in vs 14, the Word of God is spread.

4. A Woe against drinking and inhumanity: 2:15-17.

    A 2 fold teaching here:

    1. The king of Babylon was drunken with covetousness and cruelty. He provoked others to

        do the same, and inflamed them by his madness, and so in the end brought them to shame.

    2. Drinking alcohol can produce drunkenness.

        Drunkenness produces stupid actions: Proverbs 23:29-33.

        Vs 30: “mixed wine” = mixing wine with other ingredients to make it stronger.

        It usually takes 3-7 days to ferment

        Vs 31: “red’ = fermented.

5. A Woe against idolatry: 2:18-20

Basic lesson from this Book: We can rejoice and we should rejoice in spite of our unpleasant circumstances. Give your burdens to the Lord and wait on Him for a solution to your problems.

Realize, what we consider as our “problems” are really an opportunity for God to show His power in our lives.

It would be good for you to read Chapter 4 of the book of Philippians as a help to this.

God can take what we consider “problems” and use it for His honor, glory and His good.

I Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”

 



Old Testament Survey Book of Nahum

The Book Of Nahum 

Human Writer: Nahum – his name means – “Consolation” or “Comfort.”

He lived during the times of Zephaniah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah. Nahum prophesied during the  time  when Hezekiah was king.

Message or theme: The destruction of the City of Nineveh. The Book of Nahum was written about 150 years after the great revival in Nineveh.

Nineveh was destroyed about 100 years later – just as predicted by the Prophet Nahum.

The City: Probably not the largest city during the time of Nahum..  The people had repented under the preaching of Jonah – But …. they went back into their old sins.

That is why God sent Nahum to preach to them final judgment.

The Assyrians were a worldly and sensual people as well as arrogant. Their empire was built by use of violence and brutality. Note: Nahum 3:1-3

Basic Lesson For Us: God is very well aware of the oppression that Christians suffer and He will repay the wicked for oppression of His people.  Romans 12:19-21

 Outline Of This Book

I. The Doom Of Nineveh – chap. 1

II. Siege And Fall Of Nineveh – chap 2

III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s Ruin – Sin – chap. 3

 I.   The Doom Described

     A. Chapter 1:2-3: The whirlwind and the storm

     B. Chapter 1:6-8: Fire – rocks – overrunning flood – darkness

 II.  The  Siege And Fall Of The City

      A. Vs 2: The emptiers, brought them from their land into captivity

      B. Vs 2: Marred their vine branches: destroyed all the fruit of their land

      C. Vs 3-4: A fierce battle will rage

           1. Made  red: the ancients dyed their bull’s-hide shields red, partly to strike terror into

               the enemy, chiefly lest the blood from wounds which they might receive should be

               perceived and give confidence to the foe

           2. Vs 4: chariots … with flaming torches; that is, the chariots shall be like flaming

                torches,  their wheels in lightning-like rapidity of rotation flashing light and striking

                sparks from the stones over which they pass  (pt 1 & 2  quote from Jamieson – Fausset

                Brown)

 III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s  Ruin  

      A. The sins of that great city are

            1. Murder  3:1

            2. Whoredom and witchcraft: 3:4

            3. Wickedness: 3:19

       B. God’s judgment: Vs 5

           1. He will expose their sin

           2. It was an ancient custom to strip prostitutes naked, or throw their clothes over their

               heads and expose them to public view

           3. Nineveh will be stripped of her glory and defenses: the things that the city had pride in

      C. Nineveh’s future: 3:19

          1. No healing of thy bruise = the city will never be rebuilt

          2. Shall clap the hands = rejoice in your down fall

          3. bruit of thee = the report of what’s happened to Nineveh 

For  hundreds of years, most scholars thought that the City of  Nineveh was a myth. In 1845, the ruins of Nineveh were      found. The mounds across from the Tigris river from Mosul was confirmed to be the ruins of Nineveh.

This Book also teaches that: Even though the ungodly will prosper for a time – God’s judgment will come and God will deliver His people.



Old testament Survey: Book of Micah

Introduction: Micah lived during the time of Isaiah, the prophet.

His name means: “Who is like Jehovah.”

Isaiah was a learned man and ministered to the upper classes while Micah ministered more to the lower classes from which he came.

The Book: It was written during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

It shows judgment for idolatry. This Book followed the lead of most of the prophets and spoke of the ultimate triumph of God’s grace and the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to the faithful remnant.

Date: 750 – 710 B.C.

This Book contributed to the revival under King Hezekiah: (Jeremiah 26:18-19).

NOTE: chapter 1:2 “Hear” 3:1 “Hear” – 6:1 “Hear”

                                                                  Brief Outline Of The Book

     I.  Coming  Judgment Declared – chaps 1-3

     II.  Future Blessing Promised – chaps 4-5      

                                                                   III.  Repentance Pleaded – chaps 6-7

Note: Micah Chapter 7; the prophet pleads for repentance: what was their sin?

Micah 7:1-2: “… they lie in wait for blood …” = ambush – they have a plot;

“… they hunt every brother with a net.” = They set a trap for a brother

Micah 7:3: “… he uttereth his mischievous desire …”  The sin of the “tongue” = gossip and sowing discord.

Micah 7:4: “… best … a briar …” = they are useless at best.

Micah 7:5-7: Vs 5; “Trust not in a friend …” = even the most intimate will betray each other, when they can hope to serve themselves by it.

Vs 6: “… a man’s enemies are men of his own house.” = The state of  unnatural lawlessness in all relations of  life is here described which is to characterize the last times, before Messiah comes.

Cross references: Proverbs 10:12 – 13:10 – 15:18 – 16:28 – 22:10 – 28:25-26

Galatians 5:17-20 & 6:7-8 – Philippians 2:1-3 & 14-16

James chapter 3 / Micah 7:3 “uttereth mischievous desire …” = The tongue

Central message of the Book: Present judgment and future blessing

Lesson: The Gentile nations will be blessed also during the last days of the regathering of

Israel; 4:1-2

I.  Man’s peace brings destruction

    A. Micah is speaking here of the future – after the second coming of Christ.

    B. The only real and true peace comes from Jesus Christ: John 16:33

         1. “Ye shall have …” The Greek word “echo”

         2. It will happen over and over and over and over.

         3. That’s what the world’s peace brings to us.

    C. There is PEACE in “knowing that you are saved”  

    D. There is PEACE in knowing that you are in God’s will after you are saved.

II. The Requirements Of God: Micah 6:8

     A. The Bible speaks about duties

          1. The duty of marriage

          2. The duty of everyday living for and serving the Lord

     B. The whole “Duty” of man: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

          1. “whole” = entire – our obligation to God

          2. DUTY is something required = obedience to God in all areas of life

     C. Our duty is summed up in this … Matthew 22:35-40

          1. This means to be willing to give up your life to him, and to devote it all to His service;

              to live for Him

          2. If we love God as we should; we will have no trouble in obeying Him; serving Him

          3. If a Christian’s heart is right with God, you will have no trouble being obedient in ALL

              things

          4. you will quit making excuses for not doing what you should do or why you’re not

              doing it.



Old testament Survey: Book of Jonah

The Name Jonah:  Means Dove

Jonah was from the Northern Kingdom. His hometown was 3 miles from the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem.

The first mention of Jonah: II Kings 14:25

The Book: It shows that the love of God and the redemption of man is not just for the Jew … but for ALL who will repent.

Date: Approximately 862 B.C.

Ninevah: At this time – the capital of the Assyrian Empire  at its height.  Until its fall in 612 B.C.

it was the greatest city of that time.

Within its walls were gardens and groves; vast, lush pastures; splendid temples and palaces.

Its walls were 40-50’ high following 2  miles down the Tigris River; then 8 miles around the inner city = 20 sq. miles.

They had their own water system. The Kings Palace  contained 71 rooms with walls lined with sculptured  slabs.

Chapter 4:11: there were 120,000 infants. The total population is estimated at between 400,000 & 500,000 people.

Jonah 1:2: It was a wicked city.

Jonah 3:3: It was 3 days journey through that great city

Jonah 3:5: The   people repented, so … Why did Jonah run?

 

Brief Outline Of The Book

                                                              I. Fleeing – chap. 1

                                                             II. Praying – chap. 2

                                                            III. Preaching – chap 3

                                                             IV. Learning – chap. 4

Jonah knew of the prophecy regarding the Assyrians. Their capitol; was Nineveh – a rising power during Jonah’s time. One day, they  would destroy Israel, Jonah’s homeland. Jonah  also knew of the savagery of the Assyrians – their brutality, unspeakable torture, and killing of those they conquered.

God tells Jonah to preach to those murderous savages so that they would be saved; knowing that one day …. they would conquer his people.  Jonah was willing to spare his people; give up everything of importance to him and sacrifice his own life, if necessary, for Israel.  He knew that if he preached and they got saved; God would spare Nineveh and Israel’s fate would be sealed.

 Jonah was wrong for putting his people first and obedience to God second. We must obey God, even if  it doesn’t make sense to us …. even if we don’t understand it …. even if we don’t like the outcome of it.                



Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Amos

Introduction: Amos was a Jew who prophesied in the Northern Kingdom. Amos was not from the school of the prophets – he had no formal training. He was also a herdsman and a farmer. Yet, he had the same Divine Spirit of God upon him that influenced Isaiah and Daniel etc. God uses anybody that makes themselves available to Him. Remember, God gives abilities to us when we yield to Him. God can and wants to use you.

Date: This was written from 787 – 797 B.C.

The Book: Written during the reign of King Uzziah in Israel after Amos had been expelled from the Northern Kingdom for his bold preaching in Bethel.

Amos deals with the Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine; Judah and Israel; Jehovah God’s dealing with the family of Jacob and the future glory of the Davidic kingdom.

  1. The Message Of The Book: Amos 3:1-3
  2. The context is this: Can you have God’s presence while you walk contrary with Him?
  3. In Amos day, God’s people broke sweet communion and fellowship with God.
  4. God did not break it from them, they broke from God: that’s sad.
  5. How can a child of God have the power of God on him while not fellowshipping with God.
  6. You cannot walk with God if you are not living for God in your daily life.
  7. Can you have God’s presence while you walk so contrary to him?
  8. Hate The Evil And Love The Good: Amos 5:14-15
  9. The choice between evil and good has gone on since Adam and Eve in the Garden in Genesis 3.
  10. Joshua exhorted God’s people to choose between good and evil in Joshua 24:15
  11. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord …..”
  12. To some, they like the evil better than the good; that’s why we have so much hatred in this world.

a So much war

b.So much violence

c.   So much murder

d.So much immorality

e. Abortion/murder of the unborn is into the millions

f. It becomes evil in the sight of people for God’s people to do good

g. Joshua exhorted the Israelites: God’s people, not the heathen, to choose between Gods              and the false gods. The gods that they worshipped before God redeemed them and                                       delivered them. The Israelites had a problem: sin. They couldn’t decide whether to go                                  back and live in sin or to go forward and serve the God that had saved them.

h. Amos 5:15: hate ALL evil among God’s people: I Thessalonians 5:22.

i. Love, commend, encourage, defend the GOOD. Let your heart be towards good things.

Psalms 34:14 and Psalms 34:8

 

Paul refused to eat meat offered to idols: I Cor. 8:1 & 10:13-14

There was nothing wrong with the meat itself: I Cor. 8:4.

Vs 7-10: be careful lest we tempt others to fall into sin and false doctrine

Sometimes, it is not the thing itself that is the sin, but where we are or what we do with it:                      that is the sin.

Be careful where we go, what we say and what we do lest we become a hindrance to

someone and they not be saved.  I Cor. 6:12 and I Cor. 10:23

III. God Always Keeps His Promises Amos 9:13-15

  1. God reminded Israel of what He has in store for them in the future.
  2. God’s Word also reminds us of what He has in store for those who have received Him as            Saviour.
  3. A perfect salvation
  4. Salvation that lasts: He won’t cast us out
  5. Blessings and benefits: here and now
  6. The Comforter – the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and empower us                                                     John 14:6: a home in Heaven.