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The Minor Prophets-Part Two

Nahum Overview

The book of Nahum was written approximately 140 years after the recorded events in the book of Jonah. During that period of time, Nineveh had turned from its repentant attitude and had taken the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity. Whereas Jonah gives a message of mercy and repentance, Nahum gives an indictment of doom upon Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. They, who were once used as God's tool against the people of Israel and Jerusalem, will now be destroyed because of their great wickedness.
Nineveh once had repented and served the Lord God Jehovah. That had changed over the course of 150 years. They had turned away from God and so God was judging them. The same holds true for us today.  God is patient.  He gives every country time to proclaim Him as their Lord.  But He is not mocked. Any time a country turns away from Him to serve it's own motives He steps in with judgment.  Almost 220 years ago the United States was formed as a Nation guided by principles found in the Bible. In the last 50 years that has changed and we are turning faster daily in the opposite direction.  If we as a nation do not stand up and stop this liberal, God-denying, self-serving, live-for-the-moment attitude then we should not be surprised when God judges us.  As believers we should stand up for Biblical principles and Scriptural truth regardless of what those around us may be doing.

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.  Nahum 1:7

In times of adversity or trouble what arew we to do ?
Nahum Outline
A. Ninevah's Doom Declared
Chapter Reference
1:1 thru 1:8
Character of Ninevah's judge
1:9 thru 1:11   
Declaration of Ninevah's doom
1:12 thru 1:15
Comfort to Ninevah's oppressed
B. Ninevah's Doom Described
Chapter Reference
2:1 thru 2:5
The city besieged
2:6 thru 2:10
The city overwhelmed
2:11 thru 2:13
the city made desolate
C. Ninevah's Doom Observed
Chapter Reference
3:1 thru 3:5
Cause of the overthrow
3:6 thru 3:11
Lesson of the overthrow
3:!2 thru 3:19  
Certainty of the overthrow
Habakkuk Overview
The book begins with Habakkuk complaining of injustice in Judah and with his inability to understand God's failure to judge the wicked and morally deprived nation of Babylon. Habakkuk is shown that God's people must continue to trust in His mercy regardless of the circumstances about them. The wicked appear to prosper while the righteous are chastened. However, this prosperity of the wicked is only temporary. God will not abandon those who obey and follow His commandments
Sometimes it is not evident to us what is going on. Especially if we are thrown into suffering for a period of time or if it seems our enemies are prospering while we are just barely getting by. This book however, affirms that God is God. We just need to be still and know He is at work. He is who He says He is and does keep His promises. He will punish the wicked. Even when we cannot see it, He is at work.  Sometimes the way we have to go to get us there is through suffering and sorrow but if we rest in Him and trust Him we come out where He wants us.
Habakkuk Outline
A. Introduction-Chapter 1:1
B. Prophets Complaint of Unchecked Violence in Judah-Chapter 1:2-4
C. the Lord's Answer-Chaldean Instrument of Punishment-Chapter 1:5-11
D. Chaldean's More Wicked Than the Judean's Chapter 1:12-2:1
E. The Lord's Answer-Faith Will Be Rewarded Chapter 2:2-4
F. Five Curses for Disobedience-Chapter 2:2-20
G. A Vision of Divine Judgment-Chapter 3:1-6
H. the Triumph of Faith

Zephaniah Overview


Zephaniah was contemporary with Jeremiah. He prophesied during King Josiah's reign, who was responsible for a great religious reformation. This followed the wicked reigns of Kings Manasseh and Amon, who led the nation into various forms of idolatry.  Zephaniah pronounces inescapable judgments against Jerusalem for their sins, and exhorts national repentance.  He continues by speaking of the "day of the LORD", when God will intervene to judge sin.

With a few adjustments in names and situations, this prophet of 7th century B.C. could stand in the streets of the United States and deliver the same message.  God's people will not escape punishment when they sin willfully. Punishment may be painful but its purpose may be redemptive rather than punitive. The inevitability of the punishment of wickedness gives comfort in a time when it seems that evil is unbridled and victorious.  A person has the freedom to disobey God but not the freedom to escape the consequences of that disobedience. Those who are faithful to God may be relatively few, but He does not forget them.
Zephaniah Outline
A. Warning of Impending Judgment
Chapter Reference
1:2 thru 1:6
The judgment announced
1:7 thru 1:13
The judgment defined
1:14 thru 1:18
The judgment described
B. Three Discourses Against Israel
Chapter Reference
2:1 thru 2:3
An invitation to repentance
2:4 thru 3:8
A detailed warning of judgment
C. A Promise of Future Blessing
Chapter Reference
3:9 thru 3:13
The promise of conversion
3:14 thru 3:20
The promise of restoration
Haggai Outline
Haggai speaks to the few Jews who have returned to Judah from the captivity in Babylon. He exhorts them to "consider their ways" and to complete the Temple as its foundation had been laid eighteen years before. The people responded, and the Temple was completed in 516 B.C. Haggai further pronounces that pagan empires will be overthrown by God, and Judah will be elevated during the time of the Messiah.
The Book of Haggai draws attention to common problems most people face even today. We should examine our priorities to see if we are more interested in our own pleasures than doing the work of God. We should reject a defeatist attitude when we run into opposition or discouraging circumstances. We should confess our failures and seek to live pure lives before God. We should act courageously for God because we have the assurance that He is with us always and is in full control of our circumstances. We should rest secure in God's hands knowing that He will abundantly bless us as we faithfully serve Him.

Haggai Outline
A. A Message to Arouse-Chapter 1:1-11
B. A Message to Commend-Chapter 1:12-15
C. A Message to Encourage-chapter 2:1-9
D. A Message to Confirm-Chapter 2:10-19
E. A Message to Assure-Chapter 2:20-23
Zechariah Overview
Zechariah was a younger contemporary of Haggai. He also encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple. Like Daniel and Revelation, this book contains visions of future events. It contains detailed references to the coming Messiah. The book concludes with descriptions of the enemies of Jerusalem being judged and of the future glory of God's Kingdom.
The book of Zechariah teaches that all may obtain salvation.not all choose to, however.   The last chapter depicts peoples from all over the world coming to worship God, who desires that all people follow Him.  We must extent God's invitation to salvation to everyone


Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.  Zechariah 1:3

Zechariah Outline
A. Introduction, The Call to Repent-Chapter 1:1-6
B. The Night Visions of Zechariah
Chapter Reference
1:7 thru 1:17
Vision of the horses and riders
1:18 thru 1:21
Vision of the horns and artisans
2:1 thru 2:13
The judgment definedVision of the surveyor
3:1 thru 3:10
Vision of Joshua the high priest
Vision of the golden lampstand

5:1 thru 5:4

Vision of the flying roll
5:5 thru 5:11
Vision of the woman in the ephah
The judgment describedVision of the chariots
C . The Crowning of Joshua-Chapter 6:9-15
D. Questions Concerning Fasting
Chapter Reference
7:1 thru 7:3
The question
7:4 thru 7:14
The lesson from history
8:1 thru 8:23
God's purpose of blessing for Israel
E. The Future of the Nations, Israel and the Messiah's Kingdom
Chapter Reference
9:1 thru 11:17
The question first burden
12:1 thru 14:21
The lesson from history
Malachi Overview
Malachi's message comes to the people in a time of great spiritual decline. It is approximately eighty years after the rebuilding of the Temple, and the promises of the coming Messiah have not yet happened. As a result, the people had become lax and had an increasingly casual attitude toward God and worship. Malachi states that their sacrifices were unacceptable to God, husbands were unfaithful, and the priests had neglected God's covenants.
Malachi Overview
A. An Unholy Nation-Chapter 1
B. Faithless Priesthood-Chapter 2:1-9
C. A Treacherous People-Chapter 2:10-16
D. A Nation of Robbers-Chapter 2:17 thru 3:15
E. Faithful Remnant to be Vindicated-Chapter 3:16 thru 4:6

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