Prophet Isaiah

Prophet Isaiah Part 2

3. The Day of the Lord

Prophecies about the coming Day of the Lord can be found in the writings of many of the Old Testament prophets, and Isaiah is no exception. This subject is covered from chapters 2 to 66. Unlike the dualism of the prophecies to Israel and Judah, most prophecies about the Day of the Lord are for an event yet to come. These foretell a time of awesome and frightening events leading ti the return of ct. many people think of it as “the end of the world,” although it is really just the end of this present evil age. Isaiah explains that the Day of the Lord will last for one year (34:8; 61:2; 63:4). The principle of a day for a year in prophecy also applies to the Day of the Lord (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6). It is the year of the “Lord’s vengeance” or God’s wrath (Revelation 6:17).

In the early chapters on this subject (2, 13, & 24), Isaiah describes the effects of God’s wrath on this world. Men will hide in caves in terror (2:19-21), the earth will be shaken and possibly moved from its orbit (13:13), and the earth will become almost empty and a total waste (24:1, 3, 6). Isaiah also speaks of the Day of the Lord as a time of war (31: 8-9). These events are also described in the seven trumpets of Revelation 8-9, God further reveals through Isaiah that the “daughter of Babylon” will be destroyed in the Day of the Lord.

(47:1, 5, 7, 9) these verses are almost identical to those of Revelation 18: 7-8, 17-19, 21. This Babylon is the final end-time government and its religious system that will be destroyed at Christ’s return.

The time of God’s wrath will come to an end when “the great trumpet will be blown” (27:13) and Jesus Christ will return to the earth (Revelation 11:15). While the Day of the Lord often focuses on the wrath of God, this term is also used in a broader way by John in Revelation 1:10 to describe all the events – including the wrath of God, the Millennium and the events thereafter – that will happen after Christ’s return. Practically every Old Testament prophet who warned of God’s judgment on the Day of the Lord also spoke of restored peace and prosperity that will follow the judgment.

4. The Kingdom of God

The last major them addressed in Isaiah is the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ will usher in with His return. The term “kingdom” is not used in Isaiah, but this future age is described in many of the chapters from the beginning to the end of Isaiah.

Here are some of the prophecies about the coming Kingdom:

2:2-4 – The Lord will set up His kingdom over all nations, teach man His ways and judge between the nations.
4: 2-6 – The “Branch” will establish Jerusalem and those who dwell there are holy.
9: 6-7 – “The government will be upon His shoulder.” He will be called “Prince of Peace” and “of the increase of His government there will be no end.”
11: 6-9 – All animals will live at peace with man and one another, and “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.”
14: 1-2 – The Lord will resettle Israel in their land.
29: 18, 22-24 – The deaf shall hear, the blind shall see, and Jacob’s descendants will “hallow” the Lord’s name.
32: 1, 15-18 – A king a prince will rule in quiet and peaceful habitation.
35: 1-10 – “The desert shall … blossom as the rose,” the infirmed will be restored, and “waters shall burst forth in the wilderness.”

There are numerous prophecies about the Kingdom of God throughout chapters 44 to 66. It is a very important theme in this book. Everything written is leading up to the peaceful eternal government of God and, finally, to “new heavens and a new earth” – 65:17.

Besides the four major themes, there are some other important subjects in the book of Isaiah. They include:

1. Prophecies of judgment coming against numerous nations – chapters 13-14
2. Lucifer’s attempt to overthrow God – 14: 12-14
3. Sennacherib’s invasion on Judah, his defeat and death, and the extension of Hezekiah’s life – chapters 36-39
4. Chapters that speak of these who serve and obey God – 25-26, 54, 61-62

The prophecies of Isaiah are relevant in all generations, but they primarily point to the end of the age when Jesus Christ will return and set up the Kingdom of God. The warnings of the Day of the Lord and warnings to Israel and Judah are relevant for us today. If we listen to these warnings from God, then we can be assured of the promise of mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ that are explained in the book of Isaiah.

Short Outline of Isaiah

A. Discourses Concerning Judah and Israel chapters 1-12
1. Some promises and rebukes – chapters 1-6
2. The book of Immanuel – chapters 7-12

B. Prophesies against Foreign Nations chapters 13-23

C. The Judgment of the World and the Triumph of God’s People chapters 24-27
1. The judgments – chapter 24
2. The triumphs – chapter 25-27

D. Judah’s Relation to Egypt and Assyria chapters 32-38

E. The Great Deliverance of Jerusalem chapters 33-39

F. The Book of Consolation chapters 40-66
1. God’s preparation for certain deliverance – chapter 40-48
2. Jehovah’s servant, the Messiah, will bring the deliverance – chapters 49-57
3. The restoration of Zion and the Messianic Kingdom, with promises and warnings for the future – chapters 58-66.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

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Prophet Isaiah

Part 1

Isaiah is widely regarded as one of the greatest prophets of the Bible. His name means “the Lord is salvation.” He lived in Jerusalem and the prophecies God gave him were directed toward Israel, Judah and other nations. Jewish tradition says he was of royal descent, and he may have been a cousin to king Uzziah. This may have given him path to the kings of Judah in Jerusalem.

The biblical account in chapter 1, verse 1 says he received visions from God during the reigns of four kings of Judah – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. The time covered is from the end of king Uzziah’s reign (Isaiah 6:1) to the Assyrian king Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem, it was at least 40 year ministry.

Isaiah was married to a prophetess (Isaiah 8:3). They had two sons whose names had prophetic meanings. They were Shear-Jashub (Isaiah 7:3), meaning “a remnant shall return”, and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Isaiah 8:1-4), meaning “speed the spoil, hasten the booty.” Isaiah and his family would be for “signs and wonders in Israel” (Isaiah 8:18). Jewish tradition says he was killed by being sawn in two by king Manasseh, the son of king Hezekiah. This seems to be suggested to in Hebrews 11:37. Isaiah’s style of writing reveals a well educated background.

Many of the prophecies in Isaiah begin with the historical conditions and prophecies for his day and then move forward to a far greater fulfillment prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This is the dualism seen in many of the prophecies of the Bible. The first, historical, fulfillment is lesser in outlook and is followed by the greater future fulfillment at the end of this present time. The dualism is Isaiah usually pertains to the prophecies about Jesus Christ, Israel, Judah or other nations. Two exceptions would be the prophecies of the coming Day of the Lord and the Kingdom of God. These prophecies are singular and point to only one fulfillment.

There are four major themes of prophecy found in the book of Isaiah.

1. Jesus Christ, the most important theme.
Almost one-third of the chapters of the book of Isaiah contain prophecies about Jesus Christ, addressing bot His first and second comings. Isaiah provides more prophecy of the second coming of Christ than any other Old Testament prophet. The following are just some of the prophecies about Christ in both His first and second comings:
“He shall judge between the nations” – Isaiah 2:4
He was to be the “Branch of the Lord” – Isaiah 4:2; 11: 1
He would be born of a virgin and be called “Immanuel” – Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10
He would be a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” – Isaiah 8: 14
An eternal “government will be upon His shoulders “and He would be called the Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9: 6-7
The Holy Spirit would “rest upon Him” – Isaiah 11:2
He would be “a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” – Isaiah 28:16

Christ is directly spoken of in more than half of the chapters between Isaiah 40 and 61. Undoubtedly, the most important chapter referring to mankind’s salvation is Isaiah 53. This prophecy explains how much He would suffer during His sacrifice for man’s sins. Also in this section a description of His first coming begins in Isaiah 52:14, which says, “His visage [appearance] was marred more than any man”. Isaiah 53: 2-5 explains that His earthly physical appearance would not stand out, He was “despised and rejected,” and “by His stripes [wounds] we are healed” of our sicknesses.

This important chapter tells us that He would come to give His life as a sacrifice for our sins. The Passover lamb symbolized this merciful act (Isaiah 53:7; Exodus 12: 5; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Statements of his death are then repeated: “For He was cut off from the land of the living” (Isaiah 53: 8). “And they made His grave with the wicked” (verse 9). He was an “offering for sin” (verse 10) and He “poured out his soul unto death” (verse 12).

Through the book of Isaiah, God revealed that Jesus would come to earth first as a human to deal with sin and then again in His glorified state after being resurrected from the grave to establish the Kingdom of God (also see Hebrews 9: 28). Not understanding the dualism of Christ’s coming, many Jews rejected Him during His first coming as a human because He did not fulfill the prophecies of ruling over the earth and establishing an eternal government that are to happen during His second coming (Isaiah 9:6-7; 40:10).

God also revealed through Isaiah how Christ would be able to come back to life after being crucified. The prophet wrote, “Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise” (Isaiah 26:19). Also, prior to Isaiah’s time, King David had prophesied of Christ’s death and resurrection (Psalm 16:10).

2. Warnings and assurances to Israel and Judah
In terms of content, the largest single subject in the book of Isaiah is warnings to Israel and Judah both for Isaiah’s age and for us today. The first 11 chapters describe many social, moral and religious sins that are similar ti the sins that the modern descendants of Israel and Judah are presently committing. The dualism of the historical setting as a prophecy for the end of the age is apparent in chapter 11, which says, “The Lord shall set His hand again the second time” to bring them back from captivity (verse 11). The timing of this restoration is during and after Christ’s second coming (verses 4-10).

The warnings to Israel and Judah of their national sins continue throughout chapters 41 to 49. The difference is that in these chapters God gives them encouragement that He will eventually redeem them. Here are some examples:

“You are My servant, I have chosen you” – 41:8-9; 49:3.
“I will not remember your sins” – 43:25.
“Even I will carry, and will deliver you” – 46:4.
The Lord is “the Redeemer of Israel” – 49:7; 44:22.

In chapters 56 to 59 God continues to give correction and warning to Israel and Judah for their sins. In these chapters Israel and Judah are chastised for their hypocrisy in how they worship God. There are two chapters in particular that touch on this religious hypocrisy. They are Isaiah 56, which focuses on keeping the Sabbath, and Isaiah 58, which deals with fasting for the wrong reasons and, again, keeping God’s Sabbath.

The prophecies to Israel and Judah in the book of Isaiah end on a future encouraging note with God’s eventual deliverance and mercy in the coming Kingdom of God (61:3-9; 63:7-9, 14).

Prophet Nahum

 

The Hebrew name “Nahum” means “comfort” or “consolation.” The theme of the prophecy is the fate and destruction of Nineveh, the one-time capital city of the mighty Assyrian empire, which had destroyed Israel and taken many inhabitants of the land captive. The message was proclaimed to Judah (Nahum 1:15) and not to the 10 tribes of Israel who were already in captivity. Nahum’s announcement was a “comfort” and a “consolation” to the inhabitants of Judah, as it predicted the down fall of Assyria a savage and cruel enemy of Israel and Judah.

The book of Jonah records Nineveh’s absolution, Nahum predicts its destruction. Assyriah was the adversary of Israel and Judah. It was used by God to punish the inhabitants of Israel who had turned to idol worship and other evil practices. Nahum shows that despite the unjust and lawless nature of a nation, God is slow to anger (1:3), but He will not always delay His intervention and punishment. God had judged Israel and Judah for their appalling wickedness, and now He was to judge the Assyrians. Assyria had reached the height of its power, and its downfall probably appeared impossible to many.

Nineveh, at the time Nahum predicted its downfall, was at the heart of a gigantic, powerful empire – the commercial center of the world. However, its wealth was not the result of trade alone, but also came through the practice of deceit and the ravaging of neighboring nations. As Nahum writes: “Woe to the bloody city it is all full of lies and robbery” (3:1). Nineveh’s revolting methods are compared to a pride of ravaging lions tearing apart their prey. As Nahum puts it, Nineveh was a lion who “filled his caves with prey, and his dens with flesh” (2:12). God made it clear that this was certainly not the way nations should gather wealth!

Within the space of about 20 years of Nahum’s prophecy, an army of Babylonians and Medes closed in on the city and ambush it. The prediction was that a sudden rise in the level of the Tigres River would cause a breach in the walls (2:6), and that the invading armies would sweep into the city, stealing and destroying it. Nahum, in vivid detail, describes the battle scenes and pursuing destruction (2:1-4; 3:1-7). Heaps of human bodies would be piled up in the streets (3:3), including children dashed to pieces (3:10). Survivors would be lead away into captivity (verse 10). This all came to pass exactly as Nahum had predicted.

Nahum further predicts that the city would not rise again to prominence (3:19), and apparently that it would be difficult to locate (3:11). Yes indeed, for many years the existence of Nineveh was uncertain, even regarded as a myth. Yet all along the city lay buried under layers of earth until the 1800s when archaeologists uncovered the ruins. Today archaeologists are able to confirm with certainty that Nineveh existed, proving the authenticity of the city Jonah and Nahum were told to prophesy against.

Most people are interested in the future. People in general want to know whether world leaders will find peace or if our modern weapons of mass destruction will wipe all life from the earth. Jesus Christ predicted that humanity would self-destruct in He did not intervene in the affairs of mankind (Matthew 24:22). Can we really be confident that the UN (United Nations) or some other power will have the capability to bring about world peace and prosperity? The Bible states that humanity does not know the way to peace and that without God’s help we can not succeed (Isaiah 59:8-10). Yet the Bible is a book of hope for the future when the “Prince of Peace” will achieve lasting peace among all peoples and nations (Isaiah 9: 6-7). Nahum also predicted a time of peace beyond this troubled world.

Here are a couple of scriptures in Nahum that refer to the end of time events:
Nahum 1:12
12 Thus says the Lord, ‘Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
This refers to a time when God says His people will no longer be afflicted, and enemies will not be allowed to pass through their land

Nahum 1: 15
15 Look! On the mountains the feet of one who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, fulfill your vows, for never again shall the wicked invade you; they are utterly cut off.
This verse is similar to Isaiah 52:7, which in context is pointing forward to the time when the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth.

Humanity does not fully understand God’s over whelming desire for all people to experience a glorious happiness, and hope for a prosperous, stable future. The Bible outlines a plan to bring about a time when mankind will want to live the way that leads to peace, happiness, abundance and joyful well-being.

Short outline on Nahum

A. God’s judgment on Nineveh – chapter 1
1. God’s authority and power – 1-7
2. Judgment pronounced – 8-15

B. Siege and capture of Nineveh – chapter 2
1. Siege and capture described – 1-8
2. The city plundered – 9-13

C. Utter ruin of the city – chapter 3
1. Her cruelty, harlotry and witchcraft (demonic worship) – 1-7
2. Perpetual desolation predicted – 8-19.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

Prophet Joel part 2

Part 2

How are we to understand Joel 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood”? Some have related this with solar and lunar eclipses and the so-called “blood moon” sometimes seen in a lunar eclipse, it has been an attempt to predict the exact time Christ will return.

The Book of Joel, like many prophecies, sometimes jumped from one period to another. Verse 30 and 31 are clearly “before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord” (verse 31), while the surrounding verses are about the time after Christ’s return. We can find the time setting more clearly explained in Revelation 6:12, which refers to the same incident: “And the moon became like blood.” Since Revelation 6 is recorded in chronological order, it becomes clear that this sixth seal occurs after the five seals listed earlier in Revelation 6 and at the time “a great earthquake” happened. These things have not happened yet.

In the shadow of this destruction and doom, God pleads with the people to humble themselves and seek and worship Him. God said, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments” (Joel 2:12-13). He continued: “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm” (2:13). All important to God in the process of repentance is a humble heart. An outward showing of worship needs to come together with a genuine change of the heart. Gt condemned the religious leaders of His day for having a form or outward show of religion that did not come from the heart: “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:25-28). He stated that such worship of Him is done in vain (Mark 7:7-9).

Upon repentance, God promises that He “will be zealous for His land, and pity His people” (Joel 2:18). God’s goodness and kindness will be poured out upon the people:
Joel 2: 19,24 – Inhabitants will be satisfied with grain, new wine and oil.
Joel 2:23 – Rain in due season.
Joel 2:26 – Abundance of food for all, “And My people shall never be put to shame.”

Major changes will happen once Jesus Christ returns to govern the entire earth (Revelation 11:15).
Joel 2:27 – He will return to dwell “in the midst of Israel,” and no other false god will ever be worshiped again.
Joel 2:28 – “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.” Notice He specifies all peoples and nations.
Joel 2:32 – Those who call upon God will be offered salvation.
Joel 3:17 – God will dwell in Zion, and because He dwells in Jerusalem, the city will be declared “holy” or set apart from other cities. The city shall abide “from generation to generation” (3:20).
Joel 3:18 – Agricultural blessings will abound.
Joel 3:21 – God again emphasizes that He will live in Jerusalem.
These scriptures and prophecies of joyful end time events that have not yet happened.

The apostle Peter stated that “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). We need to acknowledge that the Bible predicts world shaking events for the future. God inspired these prophecies, and they are sure to happen. Yet remember the many prophecies that promise hope, joy and happiness as well.

Jesus Christ desires that we “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worth to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

Short Outline of Joel

A. The Call to Repentance, Chapters 1:1 – 2:17.

1. By the past scourge of locusts and drought, chapter 1.
2. By the scourge to come, 2:1-17.

B. Israel’s Repentance and Jehovah’s Promised Blessing, 2:18 – 3:21

1. Material blessing 2:18-27
2. In the world Judgment, chapter 3

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

Prophet Joel Part 1

Prophet Joel

part 1

Little is known about the prophet Joel, his name means “the Lord is God,” apart from the name of his father, Pethuel (Joel 1:1), no other details of his personal history or background are recorded. From references in his writings it is presumed that he was living in Jerusalem, and he focused most of his prophecies to Judah.

A major them of Joel’s prophecies is his teaching about the Day of the Lord, when God will severely judge His own people and the rest of the world. The prophet says in 1:15 – “Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.” The Say of the Lord is not a time to look forward to! The Bible reveals that it will be a time of unprecedented universal disaster preceding Christ’s return, it will be a time of divine punishment on the nations. Joel’s main focus is Judah. He refers to Jerusalem and the temple that is located there.

Notice the following verses:
1. “The house of the Lord” and the “priest. . .who minister to the Lord” (1:9).
2. “Blow the trumpet in Zion. . .in My holy mountain” (2:1).
3. “Let the priest, who ministers to the Lord, weep between the porch and the alter” (2:17).
4. “For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance” (2:32).
5. “When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem” (3:1).
6. “Then Jerusalem shall be holy” and “Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation” (3:17,20).
7. “For the Lord dwells in Zion” (3:21).

The northern kingdom of Israel (2:27; 3:2,16) and other nations (3:9) will not escape the disastrous events surrounding the Day of the Lord (3:1-17). Many of the signs and wonders pronounced against Zion and Judah have never happened before (1:2-3) and are predictions for times yet in the future.

In those troubled times, even the animals will crave a time of peace, “How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment…Fire has devoured the open pasture, and a flame has burned all the trees of the field…The beasts of the fields also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up” (1:18-20).

Extreme weather such as severe cold or heat, flood and drought – and the wildfires that often follow drought conditions – can devastate the agricultural production of any nation. I am reminded that just recently that farms and land is being burned due to wildfires and through the grace of God other farmers that have hay are taking truck loads to those in need. Does God control the weather, and can He use this power to punish the nations that have openly rejected Him and His laws? Joel proclaimed this warning: “Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?” (1:16). Christ predicted that at the end times “there will be famines … in various places” (Matthew 27:7).

Joel describes a large cloud of locusts darkening the sky, swarming upon the land and destroying every green thing on their path (Joel 1:1-2:27). The destructive swarm of locusts is used as an analogy of a future invading army, like the Assyrians, which would occupy and devastate the nation. God refers to the locusts as “His army” (2:11), and in Isaiah 10:5 He calls the nation of Assyria “the rod of My anger”. Joel describes a strong invading army that has implications for the future: “For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion” (Joel 1:6). He also describes a large army with a strong, massive military power: “A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations” (2:2).

Joel 3:12 states: “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.” Some have mistakenly compared the Valley of Jehoshaphat with the name Armageddon, mentioned in Revelation 16:16. Armageddon is translated from Hebrew name Har Megiddo, which means “Hill of Hegiddo,” located in a large valley. The large, bowl shaped Plain of Jezreel, situated about 55 miles norther of Jerusalem, is the location where the armies will assemble, not where the final battle will take place.

Joel and other biblical authors give the answer. From their gathering place on the Plain of Jezreel, the troops will advance southward toward Jerusalem into the Valley of Jehoshaphat (which means “judgment of the Eternal”. Notice that God “will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem “on the day when He returns, and his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:1-4). Jerusalem will be the focal point of the armies of the “whole world” who gather “to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14), and that is the location where Christ at His return will overcome and destroy the opposing forces (Revelation 17:4; Zechariah 14:12-15).

It’s interesting that certain prophecies from Joel have things in common with the Book of Revelation, here are the verses:
Joel 1:4-5 – The locust plague and famine – Revelation 9:11; 6:5-6.
Joel 1:6; 2:1-11 – Unprecedented warfare – Revelation 6:4.
Joel 2:30-31 – Heavenly signs – Revelation 6:12.
Joel 3:9-14 – The battle of the great day of God Almighty – Revelation 16:14.
Joel 3:17,21 – Christ returns to Jerusalem – Revelation 19:11-21.
Joel 2:21-27 – God pours out abundant favors and blessings – Revelation 21:1-7.

The Prophet Habakkuk

Habakkuk

The name Habakkuk means “to embrace”.

In Habakkuk 2:20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Jesus Christ is described as ruling on the earth when all people will share in the peace and abundant life His righteous reign will produce (Isaiah 11: 1-9). Habakkuk doesn’t mention Assyria, but he does refers to the increasing Chaldean (also known as Babylonians) power. So we can assume that he prophesied in Judah, possibly during Jehoiakim reign and shortly before the invasion by Nebuchadnezzar (Habakkuk 1:6).

Habakkuk was instructed to foretell the invasion and destruction of the land by the Chaldeans. The northern kingdom of Israel had already gone into captivity to Assyria, and God was going to punish the southern kingdom of Judah through the Babylonians.

In chapters 1: 1-4 we find Habakkuk’s first question. Was God indifferent to Judah’s sin, which was horrifying and wide spread? The nation was guilty of:
Violence Habakkuk 1:2
Plundering and violence Habakkuk 1:3
Strife and contention Habakkuk 1:3
Disregarding and abusing the law Habakkuk 1:4
Exploiting the righteous Habakkuk 1:4
Corrupting and misusing judgment Habakkuk 1:4
Habakkuk had trouble understanding why it appeared God was unconcerned about Judah’s sin. Even though he understood that God was not detached from the peoples ungodliness, Habakkuk needed answers.

In chapter 1: 5-11 we have God’s answers. God’s answer is that He would not leave the people of Judah unpunished but would raise up the Chaldeans a rod of chastisement and correction. The Chaldeans were a merciless and terrible people, who would reach down and invade the land.

In chapter 1: 12- 2:1 we find Habakkuk’s second question. How could a holy and righteous God punish Judah by using an even more wicked and unrighteous nation? The conqueror was worse than those appointed to be chastised.

Then in chapter 2:2-20 God’s answer is that all will be faithfully judged with righteous judgment. In the final determination only those who trust in God will live. No one will escape the penalty of evil and wickedness. God will punish arrogance, pride and wrongdoing.

The just living by faith is one of the major themes in Habakkuk. The faith that we are to live by is not man’s faith, but the living faith that God gives to those who live in harmony with Him. Habakkuk was told to write down the visions and make it plain so a runner could read it (2:2). Habakkuk was told that the fulfillment was “for an appointed time” yet in the future (2:3). Equipped with God’s response and the certainty that wickedness will be punished, Habakkuk delivered a series of five woes against those who opposed God and His laws. It seems that these woes are directed at the Chaldeans. They cannot escape the law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7). God’s law of retribution for those who in their minds consider themselves beyond reproach and punishment (Habakkuk 2:5). Habakkuk has recorded five types of wickedness found in the Chaldeans:

1. Aggression, pride, abuse of power and greed – 2:5-8
2. Covetousness – 2:9-11
3. Excessive violence – 2:12-13
4. Inhumanity and heartlessness – 2:15-17
5. Idolatry – 2:18-19

Habakkuk ends the book with a psalm of praise and prayer, chapter 3. When hearing God’s coming judgment, Habakkuk expresses his concern (verse 2), and showed his concern by asking God to exercise mercy when applying His judgment. He then proceeded to make a list of the extraordinary acts of God in the past history of His people.

1. God’s awesome presence at Mount Sinai and His power to intervene for His people – 3:   3-7
2. The division of the Rd Sea and later the Jordan River, enabling the Israelites to enter the Promise Land – 3: 8-10
3. God’s powerful intervention for the Israelites in battle – 3: 11-15.

Habakkuk trembles at the thought of what is yet to happen, but nothing that happens on the earth can remove God’s promises: “ yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.” – 3: 18-18

The book of Habakkuk is quoted several times in the New Testament. In Acts 13: 40-41 the apostle Paul quoted the warning in Habakkuk 1:5 and applied it to the people of Antioch. The warning that the prophet gave under inspiration can also be relevant for us today.

The lesson of Habakkuk is, Man shall live by faith. Faith in God no matter how dark the day is – have faith.

Short Outline of Habakkuk

A. The problem of the apparent triumph of sin – Chapter 1
1. Why does sin go unpunished? – 1-4
2. God says he has used the Chaldeans to punish sin – 5-11
3. Are they confined to evil forever – 12-17

B. The impending punishment of the Chaldeans – Chapter 2
1. Waiting for the vision – 1-3
2. Vision of the five destructive woes, – 4-20

C. An age of confidence in God – Chapter 3
1. Prayer of the disquieted prophet – 1-2
2. Past history has shown God will finally destroy Israel’s enemies – 3-15
3. The prophet must joyously trust God and wait when in perplexity – 16-19

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

Prophet Daniel

Daniel Part 2

Daniel 9: 24-27
24 ‘Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city: to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
25 Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an anointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time.
26 After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its* end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
27 He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolator.’

Verse 24 list 6 things that are to be accomplished by the end of the 70 weeks:
1 finish the transgression
2 make an end of sin
3 to atone for iniquity
4 bringing in everlasting righteousness
5 seal up vision and prophecy
6 to anoint a most holy place
By the end of His ministry Jesus at least partially fulfilled the first three items. By His sacrifice Jesus provided a way for sin to be forgiven and become the atonement for our sins, reconciling us to God, Colossians 1: 19-20. Jesus will finish completing these first three and fulfill the final three after His return.

Verse 25 introduces the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Verse 26, the first phrase say that the Messiah would be “cut off” after 62 prophetic weeks. Verse 26 also introduces an evil prince who will destroy the city, Jerusalem, and the sanctuary.

Verse 27 can be a little tricky to read when trying to decide between Messiah and evil one. So from my studies this is what I am understanding: verse 25 talks about the Messiah, verse 26 refers to the evil one, verse 27 the first part refers to the Messiah and the second part refers to the evil one.

Abomination of desolation, chapter 11 covers prophecies that would be fulfilled from the time of the Medo-Persian Empire through the end of time. After providing specific detail regarding the successive kingdoms, in verse 31 we read of daily sacrifices taken away and of an “abomination of desolation” that would be placed in the temple. These even were a type of a future fulfillment that will happen before the return of Christ, Matthew 24: 14-15.

A second fulfillment happened when Roman armies destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple and alter were desecrated. Luke 21:20 identifies the armies as the cause of the desolation of Jerusalem.

A future fulfillment, in reference to “the end” of this age when He would return to earth a second time, Matthew 24: 13-14. Then in Matthew 24: 15-16 Jesus said, “So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the ruler understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.” Daniel, the prophet to whom Jesus referred was told in a vision that the words he had been given were “sealed till the time of the end” Daniel 12:9.

The time of the end. Beginning in Daniel 11:40 we read of events that will happen “at the time of the end.” This includes conflict around Jerusalem between “the kings of the North” and “the kings of the South.” Daniel also refers to a severe “time of trouble” Daniel 12:1, which is referred to as “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:21.

Short outline of Daniel

A. Daniel’s history chapters 1-6

1. His youth and education chapter 1
2. Interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s image dream chapter 2
3. In the fiery furnace chapter 3
4. Interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s tree dream chapter 4
5. Interpretation of the hand-writing on the wall for Belshazzar chapter 5
6. In the lion’s den chapter 6

B. Daniel’s vision of the Kingdoms chapter 7-12

1. The four beasts chapter 7
2. The ram and the he-goat chapter 8
3. The seventy weeks chapter 9
4. The final vision chapter 10-12

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You