The Prophet Micah in the Old Testament speaks of God’s reprove and chastisement of Israel in a very poetic language.
Chapter 1:3-4 “For Jehovah is about to come forth from His place, And He will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will be melted under Him, And the valleys will be cleft, Like wax before fire, Like water poured down a slope.”
These sobering words caused Micah to weep but as with other prophets Micah also speaks of God’s comforting of His people. Which ultimately comes at the end of this age in what the prophets of all spoke as the restoration. A coming age when there will be no need of weapons for all the enemies will be gone and Christ will rule, shepherd and protect His people while His people feast and rejoice in loving worship of Him for a thousand years.
Micah (Program #1) – The Introductory Word and Jehovah’s Reproof on Israel
The prophets of the Old Testament all spoke of the same basic things. First, that Israel had departed from Jehovah which resulted in Jehovah use of the Gentile nations around Israel to chastise her with the hope that she would return to Him.
But the nations were excessive in their treatment of Israel which offended the Lord, causing Him to punish the nations. Both of these things work to bring about the manifestation of Christ, which will eventually result in the restoration of all things including the full promise of Israel with the ushering in of the kingdom consummating ultimately in the New heaven and New earth. Though their expression and the angles from which they speak of these different things vary, the basic thought is the same with all of the Old Testament prophets. And with this is the key, all of these books, the prophets, both Major and Minor open up to us.
Jonah (Program #1) – Jehovah’s Care and Salvation to the Most Evil City of the Gentiles
One of the most popular stories in the Old Testament and frequently the topic of children Sunday school lesson is the story of Jonah and the great fish. In case you had forgotten the story let me remind you by reading a few verses from the book of Jonah:
1 Now the word of Jehovah came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come up before Me. more…
Obadiah (Program #1) – Jehovah’s Dealing with Esau and Jacob’s Victory for the Kingdom of Jehovah
Obadiah is a short book in the Old Testament. The central thought of Obadiah is that Jehovah’s dealing with Esau issues in Jacob’s victory and possession for the kingdom of God in the age of restoration.
Amos (Program #1) – The Introductory Word, Jehovah’s Judgments on the Surrounding Nations, and His Judgments on Judah and Israel, and Jehovah’s Contending with the House of Jacob
There are many ways to look at and interpret human history. But if we study the divine record in the Bible, we can see a clear and on going pattern. And that is that for more than 20 centuries God’s people Israel had been under a kind of suffering, a chastisement at the hands of the surrounding nations. At the same time God has been judging and punishing those nations for their excessive brutality toward Israel. And during these entire period beginning from the incarnation of the Savior, Christ had been increasingly manifested on the earth. This clear, concise summary of the past centuries is the topic and focus of most of the Old Testament books of the prophets. Amos is one of the Minor Prophets that continues this revelation.
Joel (Program #4) – On Joel (5)—The Four Factors in the Book of Joel
The Old Testament, Minor Prophet Joel is an interesting book. It was quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost and its’ prophecy concerning both the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the second coming of Christ are of great importance even to us, the New Testament believers.
The book can be summarized into 4 principles. These are the consuming locusts representing the 4 great empires of the human history and how they had been consuming Israel for more than 27 centuries. The second principle is the suffering, that this is caused to Israel and how Israel had continued to endure under the suffering. The third principle in Joel is that the Church, that’s us, God’s New Testament people are the beneficiaries of all these consuming and suffering. And finally, the fourth principle is that of restoration. For all the suffering that Israel has endured there is a day coming when Israel will enjoy God’s full restoration. This is Joel a wonderful and important book.
The Old Testament Prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Joel all speak prophetically of 4 great empires that would come against God’s chosen people Israel to consume and devour. This consuming had been going on for more than 27 centuries now. History tells us that Daniel got it right when he prophesied in Chapter 2 that these 4 empires that would rule the world and wreck havoc upon Israel would be the Babylonian, the Medo Persian, the Greek and the Roman Empires. Zechariah saw them as 4 horns. And the Prophet Joel described them as 4 kinds of locusts as in Chapter 1 : 4 “What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten.”
Whatever metaphor we use to depict these 4 great empires, the fact is, Israel had been sustained through this long period of suffering and ultimately will turned back to God, and receive a salvation and a restoration. For us, God’s New Testament people these consuming locusts representing all of human government had also been used by God for His specific purpose and goal, and that is the Christ might be manifested.
The book of Joel in the Old Testament contains 3 main points. The first is the plague of the 4 locusts found in Chapter 1. These 4 locusts in Joel 1, the 4 horns in Zechariah, the 4 beasts in Daniel 7 and the great image in Daniel 2 seen in 4 sections all refer to the four great empires of human history. The Babylonians, the Medo Persian, the Greek and the Roman Empires. These 4 empires representing the totality of human government had been consuming Israel for 27 centuries.
The second main point of Joel is the outpouring of the Spirit prophesied in Chapter two, and referred to by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost.
The third main point in Joel is the coming restoration, not only of Israel but of the whole universe. Such a short book, a Minor Prophet in the Old Testament, yet such a great content.
Joel (Program #1) – On Joel (1)—The Introductory Word and the Day of Jehovah
The book of Joel one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament is very short only three Chapters. And yet interestingly the phrase “the day of Jehovah” is used 5 times in these three Chapters. The day of Jehovah corresponds to the New Testament phrase the day of the Lord, as in such verses as : 1 Thessalonians 5 :2 “For you yourselves know perfectly well that like a thief in the night, so the day of the Lord comes.” Whether in the Old Testament or the New is a very specific phrase that points not just to the Lord’s coming in a general way but specifically to the day when the Lord comes to establish His judgment on the earth. In that day, the day of the Lord all other judgment will be render meaningless and vain, especially our own judgment. This matter is the central point in the book of Joel but it requires the whole Bible to gain a proper and accurate view concerning it.
Hosea (Program #7) – On Hosea (8)—Three Implications Concerning Christ
To every genuine believer the Bible becomes a sheer delight. One of the key elements that usher us into a deeper appreciation of the Bible is when we begin to discover clear, unmistakable passages in the Old Testament that reveal our dear Lord Jesus in rich detail. Some Old Testament passages are well known in this regard and unmistakable in how they reveal Christ. Like Psalm 8 and Isaiah 53 but there are so many other portions not so familiar and not quite so obvious, but once the key to seeing Christ has been provided to us, they are nonetheless full of rich and nourishing revelations of the One who is the central focus of every book and every chapter of the Bible. Such a passage is found on the first 4 verses of the Minor Prophets Hosea in Chapter 11.