This study, taught by Pastor Barry Forder, is the 31st session of our ‘Through-the-Bible-in-a-Year’ series recorded during 2014 as part of our Sunday morning family services.
In this session – the last in our journey through the Old Testament – Pastor Barry gives us an overview of the last four minor prophets, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Zephaniah, the great grandson of king Hezakiah, is the last of the pre-exile prophets. 17 times he records “I will” statements of the LORD mainly in regard to the coming judgment, yet like Joel also speaks of “the day of the LORD”. Thus we see his prophesies span history, speaking to the then current situation in Israel, but also speaking with clarity into our days.
Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are the three post-exile prophets, speaking to the small remnant who returned from captivity in Babylon. Haggai has possibly the shortest recorded ministry of any of the prophets, speaking to the nation for just 4 months, but in that short time, what a impact this man of God had on a people who had been more interested in building their own houses than building the house of the LORD!
Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai, and may well have been stirred by Haggai’s preaching, for two months after Haggai delivered his first sermon, Zechariah began his prophetic ministry. He encouraged the people to spiritual renewal, helping to motivate them to rebuild the temple by revealing to them God’s plans for Israel’s future.
Through Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, God speaks one more time to the nation before the ‘big day’ – the day of the coming Messiah! But rather than just being addressed to Israel, Malachi’s message is as relevant to us today as it was then. Have we become apathetic like Israel had done? Have we entered into mixed marriages with the things of this world? Have we withheld from God that which we should have given Him?
Maybe God is speaking to us one last time before our ‘big day’?
May this overview prompt you to undertake your own study of these divinely inspired books.
The PDF slides are from the PowerPoint presentation used during the teaching session.
You can listen to the audio on this web page, or save it for later listening.