Category Archives: Minor Prophets

Malachi 4 — If we fail to listen

After all of the rebukes God gives the people, he ends this book with a warning. He warns them that the day of judgment will come.  Those who persist in their evil will be condemned, and at that point, there … Continue reading

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Malachi 3:13-18 — Futile?

Sometimes as we follow God, we become disappointed and discouraged.  And if we’re not careful, it’s easy to become cynical as well. That’s what happened to the Israelites.  They were saying to themselves, It is futile to serve God.  What … Continue reading

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Malachi 3:6-12 — Tithing

Some people may see this and wonder, “Why are you talking about tithing?  That was Old Testament law.  The New Testament says nothing about Christians tithing.” That’s true.  When Malachi was talking to the Israelites, he was talking to people … Continue reading

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Malachi 2:17-3:7 — Where’s the justice?

Many times people ask, “If God is good, why is this world so bad?  If he’s so just, where’s the justice?” It’s not a new question.  People were asking it in Malachi’s day.  God told them, You have wearied the … Continue reading

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Malachi 2:10-16 — Acting treacherously against your spouse

We come to a pretty painful topic for many people.  Around 50% of marriages, even among Christians sadly, end in divorce.  The percentage is much lower in Japan, where I live, but even here, the total is rising. In this … Continue reading

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Malachi 2:1-9 — Your role as God’s priest

Some of you may look at today’s title and say, “I’m not a priest.  This has no relevance for me.” But if you are a Christian, you are God’s priest.  Peter says of you and me, But you are a … Continue reading

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Malachi 1:6-14 — What God deserves

In this passage, we see one of the main problems that the Jews had, and it filtered down to everything that they did. What was their problem?  They failed to honor God.  They treated him as something less than the … Continue reading

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Malachi 1:1-5 – Questioning God’s love

And so we come to the end of Israel’s history in the Old Testament.  After this book, we still have to go through the books of poetry to wrap up the Old Testament (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Song of … Continue reading

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Zechariah 14 — The bringer of victory, life, and light

As we come to the conclusion of Zechariah, we see the second coming of Christ and the time of the Millenium. It starts once again with the nations rising up against Jerusalem to crush it, and in so doing, half … Continue reading

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Zechariah 13 — Purified

In this passage, it continues talking about the repentance of the Jews.  That during the last days, by God’s grace and the blood of the one they had pierced 2000 years ago, they will be purified and cleansed from their … Continue reading

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Zechariah 12 — That we may see

In this passage, we see a glimpse of Israel’s future.  Sometimes people think that God has abandoned Israel, and that God’s promises to them have all been transferred to the church.  But that’s not true.  As Paul said concerning Israel, … Continue reading

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Zechariah 11 — When we reject the Savior

God loves word pictures.  Jesus showed this through his parables.  You see this throughout the prophets.  And in this chapter, we see yet another example of this. It starts with a picture of the devastation of Israel represented by the … Continue reading

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Zechariah 10 — All of God

In this passage, Zechariah talks further about the salvation of Israel.  But the thing that I notice here more than anything else are these words… It is the Lord who…  The Lord Almighty will… I (the Lord) will… In his … Continue reading

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Zechariah 9:9-17 — The Prince of Peace

In this passage, we see more prophesies of Jesus, some of which were fulfilled in his first coming, while others yet to come. It says in verses 9, Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to … Continue reading

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Zechariah 9:1-8 — The God who watches over all

This passage starts with the people’s eyes upon the Lord, looking to see what he would do.  And here we see how God would bring Alexander the Great to bring judgment upon Syria, Tyre and Sidon, and the Philistia. The … Continue reading

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Zechariah 8 — Saved to be a blessing

The book of Zechariah is full of warnings and admonitions.  But as we have seen, it also has words of encouragement as well. And in this passage we see a bit of both.  God starts with words of encouragement, telling … Continue reading

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Zechariah 7 — False piety

Many people criticize Christians for hypocrisy, warranted or not.  But to God, it is a serious issue. In this passage, we see the returnees who had been exiled to Babylon coming before Zechariah and asking if they should continue fasting … Continue reading

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Zechariah 6 — He who will come again

One of my favorite Easter songs is “Rise Again,” by Dallas Holm.  In the last verse of the song, it says, Go ahead Say I’m dead and gone. But you will see that you were wrong. Go ahead, Try to … Continue reading

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Zechariah 5 — The purging of all evil

Happy Easter for those of you across the international date line.  I celebrated Easter yesterday in what turned out to be a very long (but great) day, so I didn’t get around to doing this blog. Anyway, the visions kept … Continue reading

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Zechariah 4 — Filled to do His work, in his power

The more I’m reading Zechariah, the more I’m starting to love it.  This is another great passage that’s rich in meaning. The temple was still under construction at this time, and the people were still facing opposition.  It was uncertain … Continue reading

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Zechariah 3 — Free from accusation

This is probably one of my favorite passages in the entire Old Testament, basically because of how rich in meaning it is for us who are Christians. In this passage, Joshua, the high priest was standing before the Lord, and … Continue reading

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Zechariah 1:7-2:13 — Wall of fire, glory within

This message, along with all the others in the rest of this book, came to Zechariah during the rebuilding of the temple. Here, we see a vision of horsemen going out to see the state of things in the world.  … Continue reading

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Haggai 2:20-23 — Though all is shaken

The book of Haggai ends with a word of encouragement to Zerubbabel.  Perhaps Zerubabbel saw the opposition that was rising up against the rebuilding of the temple and of Jerusalem and he was getting discouraged. But God told him, Tell … Continue reading

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Haggai 2:10-19 — The difference between impurity and holiness

After Zechariah gave his message, it was Haggai’s turn.  And here he shows us one of the differences between impurity and holiness. To give a bit of background, in Mosaic law, after the altar was anointed, it became holy, and … Continue reading

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Zechariah 1:1-6 — Learning from the past

Zechariah started his ministry at the same time as Haggai, and together they helped the Israelites get back on track with the rebuilding of the temple.  As well as being a prophet, he was also a priest. By the way, … Continue reading

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Haggai 2:1-9 — Where our true glory comes from

I’ve mentioned before in the book of Ezra that some of the older generation that had seen Solomon’s temple wept when then saw the foundations of the new temple that was being built. And here, we see some of the … Continue reading

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Ezra 4:4-5, 24; Haggai 1 — Getting our priorities straight

Before I go on, I should make some comments on the chronology of events going forward.  I’ve mentioned before that there is a lot of dispute among scholars about the timing of events, and the more I dig, the more … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 48-49; Obadiah — Reasons for judgment

I know.  At first glance, it seems a bit strange to combine Jeremiah and Obadiah.  But there is some method to my madness.  If you look at Obadiah, it actually has a lot in common with Jeremiah 49:7-22.  A lot … Continue reading

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Habakkuk — Trusting God in the midst of an evil world

We hit yet another minor prophet here.  Habakkuk probably prophesied during the time of Jeremiah, and this book was probably written sometime during the reign of king Jehoiakim the son of Josiah.  Jehoiakim came to power (so to speak) when … Continue reading

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Zephaniah — The Day of the Lord

We’re going to take a short break from Jeremiah at this point, and take a brief look at Zephaniah, who was a contemporary of Jeremiah.  As with the book of Nahum, I won’t spend too much time here, mostly because … Continue reading

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Nahum — A certain judgment

I sometimes wonder when I’m ever going to finish II Kings and II Chronicles.  I seriously have just a handful of chapters to finish with these two books, but these prophets keep getting in the way.  🙂  I suppose the … Continue reading

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Micah 7:8-20 — God’s wrath…and mercy

One criticism often made of “the God of the Old Testament” (as if he’s different from the “God of the New Testament”) is that he’s a God of wrath, rather than a God of mercy. I think the problem for … Continue reading

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Micah 7:1-7 — When there’s no one else we can count on

When trust has been broken, it can be hard to restore.  Just ask anyone whose spouse has cheated on them. Sometimes, when trust has been broken, it’s hard to trust anyone.  We start to wonder if there’s anyone in this … Continue reading

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Micah 6 — Empty religion

“I call to the stand the people of Israel.” That’s basically the opening of Micah 6, where God calls the Israelites to account in a court-like atmosphere. He cross-examines them, saying, My people what have I done to you?  How … Continue reading

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Micah 5:5-15 — When the enemy comes against us

Throughout its history, Israel has constantly been surrounded by its enemies.  And in this passage, Assyria seems to be used as a type of all the enemies that would come against Israel.  But Micah prophesies here the ultimate triumph of … Continue reading

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Micah 5:1-5 — The one who brings peace

Peace.  What would you pay to have peace in your life?  That’s what the Israelites must have been thinking when Micah was writing.  I suspect that many Jews feel the same way even today. Micah here prophesies the fall of … Continue reading

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Micah 4:6-13 — God’s plans

The thing that amazes me about God is that he’s never surprised; he’s never caught off guard by the things that happen in this world. We, on the other hand, are often caught up short by our circumstances, and as … Continue reading

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Micah 4:1-5 — Not forever

If there is one place that has soured on war, it’s Japan.  If you would interview most people in Japan, you’d find that they take a much dimmer view of war than probably any other developed nation.  Probably because they … Continue reading

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Micah 3 — Non-rock-a-boatis

Famous cult expert Walter Martin once noted a serious problem within the Christian church.  He identified it by its Latin name, “non-rock-a-boatis.”  In other words, “Whatever you do, don’t rock the boat.  Don’t say anything that will upset anybody.” Unfortunately, … Continue reading

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Micah 2:6-11 — I don’t want to hear it

“I don’t want to hear it!” How often do we say these words when it comes to God’s word?  We’re going through some trouble in our lives, we read something in the Word that deals with the situation, and immediately … Continue reading

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Micah 2:1-5 — Just because you can

Here God condemns people for their blatant sins.  Sometimes people sin, but it’s a thing of the moment.  Perhaps, for example, we get angry with someone, and we react in a wrong way. But here, people actually were planning out … Continue reading

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Micah 1 — Following the sins of others

We’re going to take a short break from Isaiah here for a couple of reasons.  First, Isaiah is just about to prophesy against Jerusalem, and here, Micah does the same.  And second, we need to do some catching up with … Continue reading

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Amos 7-9 — When there’s no turning back

I suppose the tough thing about going through these prophets is that for many of them, especially during this time in the books of Kings and Chronicles, they seem to be beating the same drum, namely that of judgment. I … Continue reading

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Amos 6; Luke 12:13-21 — Self-centeredness, pride, and complacency

This passage reminds me of the parable that Jesus told in Luke 12:13-21.  In the story, a man had a rich crop, and he soon realized that there was no place for him to store all the food.  So what … Continue reading

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Amos 5:16-27 — Are you ready?

Sometimes people look at the evil around them, the crime, the violence, the natural disasters, and just wish that God would intervene already and set all things right.  But do they really understand what they’re asking for? God told the … Continue reading

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Amos 3-5 — With greater knowledge…

Ignorance is bliss.  So they say, anyway.  Actually, according to God, that’s not exactly true.  As we saw in chapters 1 and 2, judgment was coming to the nations around Israel.  What was the reason? “They do not know how … Continue reading

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Amos 1-2 — A time for judgment

As seen in verse 1, Amos was a contemporary of Hosea and Jonah, as well as of Isaiah, and prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam II in Israel.  Again, this was a time of material prosperity, … Continue reading

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Hosea 14 — Repentance

Repentance.  One of those words that you hear in the Christian church a lot, but not so much outside of the church walls. What is it really?  That’s what Hosea addresses in this last chapter.  He told the Israelites, Return, … Continue reading

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Hosea 11-13 — Unfaithful

We live in a world today where it almost seems taken for granted that husbands will be unfaithful to their wives, and wives to their husbands.  And because we take it for granted, we lose sight of how painful and … Continue reading

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Hosea 11:1-11 — The unfailing love of God

Does God love me? That’s a question that echoes within the hearts of millions.  But there’s another question that aches within the hearts of many. Does God still love me? So often, we see the love of others and how … Continue reading

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Hosea 10 — Refusing God as king

Election time is coming in the States.  And every four years, people vote for the person they hope will lead the country to prosperity.  And when a new president takes his place, there is often hope in the hearts of … Continue reading

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Hosea 9 — When we refuse to listen

As I read this passage, verses 7-8 jump out at me. Hosea writes, The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this.  Because your sins are so many and your hostility so … Continue reading

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Hosea 5-8 — When words are not enough

My daughter Yumi is now at an age (3) where she can communicate somewhat, and as a result, it’s very clear that she’s starting to understand the concepts of right and wrong. It seems recently, especially, that she’s starting to … Continue reading

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Hosea 4 — When the priests fail to act as priests

Why are morals collapsing in this world?  There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.  There’s murder, adultery, stealing, cursing, lying.  All bounds are being broken.  Bloodshed follows bloodshed. Does this sound familiar?  Hosea wrote … Continue reading

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Hosea 1-3 — The God who pursues us

This is definitely one of the more bizarre stories we see in scripture, God telling Hosea, one of his prophets to get married to a woman that would be unfaithful to him. As this story takes place, Jeroboam II is … Continue reading

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Jonah 3-4 — The God who delights in mercy

One wonders at the attitude of Jonah as he preached to the Ninevites. Sometimes we see people holding up signs at gay rallies or parades and shouting “You’re going to hell!” I wonder if that was the kind of attitude … Continue reading

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Jonah 2 — Forfeiting God’s blessing in our lives

As I read Jonah’s account of being thrown in to the sea, it’s very dramatic.  Hurled into the water.  Waves sweeping over.  Dragged by the currents.  And a little seaweed wrapped around his head.  🙂 Then sinking to the bottom … Continue reading

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Jonah 1 — Our choices

I figured since Jonah was mentioned in the last passage we saw (II Kings 14:25), it would be a good time to throw in Jonah’s own story. This is probably one of the more famous stories in the Bible.  And … Continue reading

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Joel 3 — The valley of decision

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!  For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (14) I think that a lot of people see this passage and think of it as a time when people … Continue reading

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Joel 2:28-32 — When the Spirit comes

If there is one thing that’s different between the Old and New Testament times, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Back in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon a person occasionally to do a certain … Continue reading

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Joel 2:1-27 — True repentance

Sometimes, when people say that they’re sorry, you can tell that they really aren’t.  Sometimes, the “sorry” is dragged out of them.  Other times they seem more sorry that they were caught than for their actions. And that’s what God … Continue reading

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Joel 1 — How we respond to tragedy in this world

Why is there evil in this world?  Why is there so much tragedy?  That is one of the haunting questions that people have asked throughout the ages.  And as we take a look at the book of Joel, that’s what … Continue reading

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