Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Basic Facts from Zechariah

Zechariah was a contemporary of and a coworker with the prophet Haggai. The focus of his preaching to God’s people was to exhort them to repent and remember the covenant they had with God, in preparation for the rebuilding of the temple. God presents Zechariah with a series of eight visions pertaining to Judah’s future. There is a strong theme of Messianic hope and prophecy in Zechariah’s writing, and he challenges his people to refrain from the sins that had…

Basic Facts from Haggai

The two chapters of Haggai place this prophet’s writing among the shortest books of the bible. Haggai focuses on prophecies that relate to the (then) coming Messiah. The prophet himself (whose name means “festive”) was a contemporary of Zechariah, and both men were instrumental in motivating the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem to actually complete the re-building of the temple, about the year 516 B.C. Sixteen years had passed since the foundation had been laid, under the leadership of…

Basic Facts from Zephaniah

According to the first verse of this short book, Zephaniah prophesied while Josiah, the “boy-king” of Judah, was renewing the nation’s spiritual life following the horrors of Manasseh’s reign. Judah’s spiritual revival would be cut short, however, when the king died in battle (2 Chronicles 35:20ff). Zephaniah denounced his people’s corruption and wickedness, but also emphasized God’s merciful plan to restore them after the captivity and exile in Babylon was finished. The expression “the day of the Lord” forms the…

Basic Facts from Habakkuk

Habakkuk is one of the most lyrically-beautiful books in all the bible. In Hebrew it is a beautiful poem that records both the prophet’s conversation with God about why evil has been allowed to continue among His people for so long (chapters 1-2), and a glorious description of God’s majesty (chapter 3). The last chapter reads much like a psalm, and forms an acrostic in Hebrew, which aid in memorizing it. The prophet Habakkuk was a contemporary of Jeremiah, and…

Basic Facts from Nahum

Nahum’s three short chapters are the “sequel” to the dramatic events recorded in the book of Jonah. In that reluctant prophet’s day (circa 750 B.C.), the Assyrian inhabitants of Nineveh –from the king down to the beggar in the street –had repented because of Jonah’s message of impending judgement. Because they did, God spared them and the Assyrian Empire remained strong for almost another century. At the end of that time God began to raise up the Babylonian Empire, which…

Basic Facts from Micah

Micah prophesied at about the same time as the prophet Isaiah (8thcentury B.C.), and his message was very similar to Isaiah’s. Israel and Judah were both enjoying a period of relative prosperity, but the idolatrous northern kingdom of Israel was doomed to be conquered by the Assyrians in 721 B.C. Judah would be oppressed and made to pay tribute to the Assyrians, but would not be conquered by them. Micah’s prophetic writing alternates between warnings of judgement and destruction and…

Basic Facts from Jonah

According to 2 Kings 14:23-25, Jonah preached during the time of Jehoahaz and Jereboam II, around the year 780 B.C. Verse 25 shows that he also prophesied in Israel as well as in Nineveh. Jonah came from Gathhepher, a little town about four miles northwest of Nazareth in Galilee. This is important because in Jesus’ day the Jews and their leaders recognized Jonah as a great prophet, and his origin contradicts the Pharisees’ assertion in John 7:52 that “no prophet…

Basic Facts from Obadiah

Obadiah means “servant of Jehovah,”and there are a number of men in the old testament by this name, including one godly man who was a servant to the wicked king Ahab. This man hid one hundred prophets in a cave when Queen Jezebel was trying to murder them (1 Kings 18:3-16). There is no way to know if this is the man who penned the book of this name, for the Bible says nothing about him; no family name, no…

Basic Facts from Amos

Amos was a shepherd of Tekoa (in Judah, slightly south of Bethlehem) who was called to prophesy primarily to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He lived about 800 years before Jesus, during the reigns of Uzziah (in Jerusalem) and Jeroboam the second (in Damascus), during a time of comparative prosperity when both Israel and Judah were “gorging” themselves on evil deeds. His sharp words of warning and impending judgement were not welcomed in Israel. Eight times in chapters one and…

At Last!

Aren’t you glad to see the end of this year? I suspect most people will be happy to put 2020 in the rearview mirror! We have learned new words (pandemic, coronavirus, etc.), new habits (social distancing, masking, compulsive hand sanitizing), and in some cases, new attitudes (“mask-shaming”). This year brought a lot of unfamiliar stresses into our lives –quarantining, hospitalizations, working from home, even the deaths of friends and loved ones. Social and political tensions have been “through the roof”…

Basic Facts from Joel

Not much is known about the prophet Joel. It appears that he prophesied to the southern kingdom of Judah, since his prophecy is directed toward the “elders” and priests. Neither is there any mention of either Israel (the northern kingdom) or the Assyrian Empire, which was the dominant nation during Joel’s lifetime. Joel’s prophecy begins with the warning of a coming plague of locusts; this plague is destined to destroy the nation’s crops and plunge the people into famine and…

Basic Facts from Hosea

The very last of God’s prophets to speak to the apostate northern kingdom of Israel, Hosea is sometimes called the “death-bed prophet of Israel.” As the ten idolatrous northern tribes neared their rendezvous with Divine punishment at the hands of king Sennacherib and his Assyrian Empire, Hosea warned of the destruction coming upon them because of their faithlessness. His message was vividly illustrated by the behavior of his own wife – Gomer was as shamelessly unfaithful to him as Israel…