FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


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.

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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 Jeremiah

Introduction: The Books of Lamentations and Jeremiah were both written by the prophet Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet.”  Jeremiah 9:1

The author:  The Holy Spirit.  Every prophecy of Jeremiah was from a broken heart to God’s people;                     the Tribe of Judah.

  1. Jeremiah was born into a priestly family: 1:1
  2. He was called before he was born, to be a prophet: 1:5-6
  3. For over 40 years, he was ridiculed, rejected, hated, beaten and plotted against, by the people,                     noblemen and kings.
  4. One king did seek his advice – but was not able to put it to use.
  5. Mostly, his preaching and warnings were rejected by the majority who branded Jeremiah,                                       as a “meddler” and as a “traitor.”

Central Theme of this Book: “I will punish” and “I will restore”

The most famous chapters in this Book are 18 and 19. They record Jeremiah’s visit to the home of the Potter.

Chapter 18 – Jeremiah watches the potter mold the clay

Chapter 19 – he takes the finished vessel and breaks it in the Valley of Hinnom.

In viewing these chapters, we not only see a picture of Judah, but also of ourselves and of our relationship to God.

I. The Potter: 18:1-4

  1. God wanted to control Israel for her own good
  2. Israel was at the mercy of blind fate: ONLY if she made that choice
  3. Reference: Romans 8:28
  4. The potter has a plan for his clay
  5. Notice: the clay BELONGS to the potter
  6. He sees the finished product in his mind – BEFORE he begins and completes it
  7. In the same fashion, God, the Divine Potter directs our lives
  8. He uses circumstances: crises – disasters – parents – teachers – etc. to shape us
  9. It takes time to make a special product and God is never in a hurry

II. The Clay: 18:4-6

  1. In this text: the clay represented Judah
  2. The Biblical application is to each and every one of  our lives
  3. Clay is of little value unless it is molded by the hands of a skilled potter
  4. the same is true of a human life
  5. our lives are of little value unless molded by the hands of the Divine Potter
  6. clay has to be clean and tempered in order to be usable by the potter
  7. we must be tempered by trials – struggles – and the experiences of life                                                                        so that we will yield to the hand of the Potter

III. The Potter’s Wheel: 18:3

  1. God wanted Judah to know some important things
  2. The potter spins the wheel at his own speed and is complete control
  3. God was in control of the circumstances etc. for the tribe of Judah
  4. In the same way – God has a timetable for our lives
  5. God is in control of our lives

IV. The Vessel: 18:4-6

  1. Marred: 18:4
  2. “Corrupt” “spoiled” “wasted”
  3. Jeremiah 18:6: Romans 9:20-23
  4. The vessel made over 18:4
  5. It did not stand in the working; it got out of shape; or some gravel or small stone                                                       having been incorporated with the mass of clay, made a breach in that part where it                                             was found, so that the potter was obliged to knead up the clay afresh, place it on the                                       wheel, and form it anew; and then it was such a vessel as seemed good to the potter to                                    make it.
  6. When we let things into our lives and don’t get rid of them: God may have to                                                     “start over” in working on us
  7. God wants to make us into something special – He wants to mold us into His image:Romans 8:29

 



Old Testament Survey Isaiah

Introduction: In the Old Testament, we can group the Books into approximately three different categories. Genesis through Esther is history; Job through Song of Solomon is poetry; while Isaiah through Malachi is prophecy.

We are now at the Old Testament writings by the prophets. There are 17 in number and generally divided into 5 Major Prophets and 12 Minor Prophets. They are not called “major” or “minor” prophets because some are more important than others. They are referred to such because of the amount of material in each Book. The Books of poetry were written during the golden age of Israel; the Books of prophecy were written during days of apostasy in Israel.

Definition of a prophet: derived from a verb signifying “to bubble forth” like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. A spokesman; speaker. They were authoritative and influential men of God. They were direct spokesmen of God; they received their messages directly from God and preached them to the people. Therefore, “prophet” means: one who speaks for another. When put in proper context, we will know if that spokesman is speaking for God or for some man or some other deity; Numbers 12:6-8 Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – II Peter 1:21.

Matthew 11:13 – Luke 16:16: Prophets …. until John. “Until” is a conjunction, preposition and adverb of continuance, until (of time and place): (un-)til(-l), (hither-, un-, up) to. The prophets lasted until the time of John the Baptist. “The law and the prophets were in force until John: from that time the Gospel takes place; and humble upright men receive it with inexpressible earnestness,” John Wesley.

The prophets taught, or continued to instruct.  They were the instructors concerning the Christ who was to come. John the Baptist came and showed that all the predictions of the Messiah, were now about to be fully and finally accomplished; for Christ was now revealed. There was 400 silent years between the closing of the Old Testament Books and the beginnings of the Gospel. John the Baptist is clearly New Testament and NOT an Old Testament prophet. Today, those who call themselves prophets are not “God called” but “self-called.”

Central message of Isaiah: Jehovah is supreme Ruler and the ONLY Saviour.

Author: The Holy Spirit of God  Human writer: The Prophet Isaiah

Chronological Order Of The Prophets: According to Ussher

  1. Prophets Before The Exile
  2. Jonah to Nineveh – 862 B.C.
  3. To the 10 Tribes of Israel
  4. Amos – 787 B.C.
  5. Hosea – 785 – 725 B.C.
  6. Obadiah – 887 B.C.
  7. Joel – 800 B.C.
  8. To Judah
  9. Isaiah – 760 – 698 B.C.
  10. Micah – 750 – 710 B.C.
  11. Nahum – 713 B.C.
  12. Habakkuk 626 B.C.
  13. Zephaniah – 630 B.C.
  14. Jeremiah – 629 – 588 B.C.
  15. Prophets During The Exile
  16. Ezekiel – 595 – 574 B.C.
  17. Daniel – 607 – 534 B.C.

III. Prophets After The Exile

A. Haggai – 520 B.C.

B. Zechariah – 520 – 518 B.C.

C. Malachi – 397 B.C.

IV. The Book Of Isaiah Shows Absolute Proof that Christ Is God

A. Isaiah 19:20; 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26, 60:16, 63:8

B. Isaiah 53 is direct and obvious prophecies of Christ

C. There are many New Testament Scriptures that make it obvious that Jesus Christ is the                                                     Saviour; the ONE spoken about by the Prophet Isaiah

1. Luke 1:47; 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31, 13:23; Philippians 3:20; II Timothy 1:10

2. Titus 1:3-4; 2:10-13; 3:4-6; II Peter 1:1,11; 2:20; 3:2,18; I John 4:14

V. The Lowliness Of The Messiah’s Arrival

  1. Isaiah 53:2
  2. He did not come as the Jews expected Him to come
  3. No political deliverance
  4. no great ceremony befitting a King
  5. born to a carpenter’s family
  6. born to a family of Northern Galilee; a place and family from which nothing was expected
  7. a “root out of dry ground” Isaiah 53:2 – Romans 15:12
  8. dry ground – where no one would expect it to grow – before unbelieving Jews
  9. root – Vs 1 – “the arm of the Lord is revealed.                                                                                                                     (1) the same Hebrew for the above is used in Genesis 3:15 – Christ is the seed                                                         (2) roots have no beauty in them                                                                                                                                         (3) the root is that of a decayed tree springing up into a new tree – Isaiah 11:1                                                       “tender plant” – “a suckling” Job 14:7 – a young shoot springing up from old stock
  10. No form or comeliness – beauty
  11. magnificence, ornament or splendor: beauty, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor,                                    majesty.
  12. the beauty of Christ was moral; holiness; love etc.
  13. this is an inward beauty and not outward.

VI. He Suffered For Us

  1. Isaiah 53:4-5 “… He was wounded for our transgressions.” I Peter 2:24
  2. He took in our place; our sufferings, it was God’s will I John 4:10
  3. He was / is guiltless = sinless: Isaiah 53:9; I Peter 2:22; Luke 23:1-22
  4. He made His grave with the wicked – Isaiah 53:9
  5. He was crucified between two thieves – Matthew 27:38
  6. “with the rich …”  Joseph of Arimathea – Matthew 27:57-60 and Nicodemus – John 19:38-42
  7. He was made an offering for sin – Isaiah 53:10
  8. Isaiah 53:12 – He was numbered with the transgressors’ – Matthew 27:38 – two thieves
  9. He bare the sins of many – Isaiah 53:12 – Matt. 26:28 – Hebrews 9:28
  10. He made intercession for the transgressors – Romans 8:34 – Hebrews 7:25                                                              a. He constantly presents the merits of his death as a reason why we should be saved.                                            b. The precise mode, however, in which he makes intercession in heaven for his people is not                                     revealed. The general meaning is, that he undertakes their cause, and assists them in                                               overcoming their foes and in their endeavors to live a holy life. (Barnes)                                                                c. I John 2:1 – an advocate – one who has undertaken, and is fully able, to plead in behalf                                              of  every one who applies for pardon and salvation in his name, depending on his                                                      pleading for them. (Matthew Henry)