Recently I have been studying the Minor Prophets Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah as part of my daily devotions. The book I’ve been using has the sub-title “The End of Evil” and is written by Martin Pakula who works for AFES at Deakin University in Melbourne.
The book is part of a series seeking to encourage Christians to read the Old Testament (OT) in the light of Christ. It states that “the whole of the OT is about Jesus”. On the road to Emmaus Jesus taught his friends that the OT is about himself: ‘And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself’ (Luke 24:27). This is expanded in Luke 24:44, Luke 24:45-46 and John 5:39. Paul says the same thing in 2 Corinthians 1:20: ‘For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him’.
This concept had not really sunk in for me before. I’d always understood that parts of the OT referred to Jesus, but it is significant to read it in the light of it all leading to Christ. The OT foreshadows God’s redemption in Christ. It is all about Jesus. And this presupposes the unity of the Bible.
Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah were written after the northern kingdom of Israel had been conquered by the Assyrians and before the fall of Jerusalem and the southern Kingdom of Judah at the hands of the Babylonians.
The books emphasise that God is holy and just but also gracious and loving. He abhors evil and injustice and will ultimately judge and punish all those who are against Him and His people. But sometimes His judgement surprises us.
God came to this earth as a man. He was born into our existence to experience hunger, sickness and suffering. Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross has defeated evil. One day God will judge every person who has ever lived. For those who believe in Him, Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross has brought forgiveness of sins. And through His resurrection he has poured out his Holy Spirit on us to change us so that we repent of our evil.
The LORD bless you and keep you.