Week #118; Wed, Apr 01: Micha 7:1–Nahum–Habakkuk–Zephaniah 3:20

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Micha 7, Wait for the God of Salvation

I. KEY TEXT: “Woe is me! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered, as when the grapes have been gleaned: there is no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig that my soul desires. The godly has perished from the earth and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand. Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in you arm; for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.” (7:1-6)

A. INFERENCE:  “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (7:7)

1. FINDINGS: “Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” (7:8)

2. CRITERIA: “I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me.” (7:9)

3. CONDITION: “He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication.” (7:9)

4. CAUSE: “The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net.” (7:2)

5. EFFECT: “Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, ‘Where is the Lord your God?’ My eyes will look upon her; now she will be trampled down like the mire of the streets.” (7:10)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Wait for the God of Salvation” (7:1-10)

B. INFERENCE:  “A day for the building of your walls! In that day the boundary shall be far extended. In that day will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their deeds.” (7:11-13)

1. FINDINGS: “Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in the forest in the midst of a garden land; let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them marvelous things. The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might; they shall lay their hands on their mouths; their ears shall be deaf; they shall lick the dust like a serpent, like the crawling things of the earth; they shall turn in dread to the Lord our God, and they shall be in fear of you.” (7:14-17) [Inference to the bema seat can be seen here (2 Corinthians 5:10).]

2. CRITERIA: “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” (7:18-20) [Inference to the Lamb’s Book of Life can be seen here (Revelation 20:15).]

3. CONDITION: “He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” (7:18)

4. CAUSE: “You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” (7:20)

5. EFFECT: “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (7:19)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Wait for God’s steadfast love and compassion.” (7:1-20)

Nahum 1, God’s Wrath Against Nineveh

I. KEY TEXT: “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. ” (1:1-5)

A. INFERENCE: “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.” (1:6)

1. FINDINGS: “From you came one who plotted evil against the Lord, a worthless counselor.” (1:11)

2. CRITERIA: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut down and pass away.'” (1:12)

3. CONDITION: “For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.” (1:10)

4. CAUSE: The people of Nineveh listened to Jonah and repented; however, 100 years later they did not listen to Nahum and collapsed before Babylon. “What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.” (1:9)

5. EFFECT: “And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart. The Lord has given commandment about you; No more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image. I will make your grave, for you are vile. Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.” (1:13-15)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Repent as in the days of Jonah, return to the Lord God.” (1:1-15)

Nahum 2, The  Destruction of Nineveh

I. KEY TEXT: “The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength.” (2:1)

A. INFERENCE: “For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches.” (2:2)

1. FINDINGS: “The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress spears are brandished.” (2:3)

2. CRITERIA: “. . . the palace melts away.” (2:6)

3. CONDITION: “The chariots race madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches; they dart like lightning.” (2:4)

4. CAUSE: “Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.” (2:13)

5. EFFECT: “Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all lions; all faces grow pale! Where is the lions’ den, the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and lioness went, where his cubs were, with none to disturb? The lion tore enough for his cubs and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh.” (2:10-12)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Nineveh should repent again, and turn to the Lord God” (2:1-13)

Nahum 3, Woe to Nineveh

I. KEY TEXT: “Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder–no end to the prey! The crack of the whip, and rumble of the wheel, galloping horse and bounding chariot! Horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear, hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end–they stumble over the bodies!” (3:1-3)

A. INFERENCE: “And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute, graceful and of deadly charms, who betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms.” (3:4)

1. FINDINGS: “Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will make nations look at your nakedness and kingdoms at your shame.” (3:5)

2. CRITERIA: “Draw water for the siege; strengthen your forts; go into the clay; tread the mortar; take hold of the brick mold! There will the fire devour you; the sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the locust.” (3:14-16)

3. CONDITION: “All your fortresses are like fig trees with first-ripe figs–if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater.” (3:12)

4. CAUSE: “All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you. For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil.” (3:19)

5. EFFECT: “And all who look at you will shrink from you and say, Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her? Where shall I seek comforters for you?” (3:7)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Nineveh should repent again, and turn to the Lord God” (2:1-13)

Habakkuk 1, Habakkuk’s Complaint

I. KEY TEXT: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.” (1:2-3)

A. INFERENCE: “So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” (1:4)

1. FINDINGS: The Lord God says, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (1:5)

2. CRITERIA: “For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.” (1:6-7)

3. CONDITION: “At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” (1:10-11)

4. CAUSE: “Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour.” (1:8)

5. EFFECT: “It appears God can use a wicked nation such a Babylon for his purpose.” (1:1-11)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Live by faith awaiting salvation.” (2:4)

Habakkuk 2, The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

I. KEY TEXT: “And the Lord answered me: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie.” (2:2-3)

A. INFERENCE: “If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (2:3)

1. FINDINGS: “The righteous shall live by his faith while awaiting salvation.” (2:4)

2. CRITERIA: “Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” (2:5)

3. CONDITION: “Woe to him (the Chaldeans) who heaps up what is not his own–for how long?–and loads himself with pledges! Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be spoil for them.” (2:6-7)

4. CAUSE: “You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited you life. For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.” (2:10-11)

5. EFFECT: “Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.” (2:8)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” (2:20)

Habakkuk 3, Habakkuk’s Prayer

I. KEY TEXT: “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Was you anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation? You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers. The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hand on high. The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear. You marched through the earth in fury; you threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret. You trampled the sea with your horses, the surging of waters.” (3:2-15)

A. INFERENCE: “I hear and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.” (3:16)

1. FINDINGS: “You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed.” (3:13)

2. CRITERIA: “God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (3:19)

3. CONDITION: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (3:17-18)

4. CAUSE: “Fear and praise.” (3:2, 3)

5. EFFECT: “Habakkuk rejoices in the Lord.” (3:2-19)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Quietly wait for the day of trouble.” (3:16)

Zephaniah 1, The Coming Judgment on Judah

I. KEY TEXT: “‘I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,’ declares the Lord. I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests, those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom, those who have turned back from following the Lord, who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.” (1:2-6)

A. INFERENCE: “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.” (1:7)

1. FINDINGS: “And on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice–I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire. On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master’s house with violence and fraud. On that day, declares the Lord, a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills.” (1:8)

2. CRITERIA: “A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.” (1:15-18)

3. CONDITION: “The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.” (1:14)

4. CAUSE: “Baal, idols, idolatrous priests, and those who have turned back from following the Lord.” (1:4-6)

5. EFFECT: “Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off. At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.” (1:11-13)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.” (2:3)

Zephaniah 2, Judgment on Judah’s Enemies

I. KEY TEXT: “Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect–before the day passes away like chaff–before there comes upon you the burning anger of the Lord, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the Lord.” (2:1-2)

A. INFERENCE: Gaza, Ashdod, Ekron, Cherethites, Canaan, Philistines; Ashkelon, Moab, Ammonites, Cushites, Assyria, and Nineveh are labeled for destruction; but the remnant is reserved for the seacoast. “And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures, with meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks. The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of Judah, on which they shall graze; and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the Lord their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes.” (2:4-13)

1. FINDINGS: The remnant of Judah will prevail; it has to prevail to enable the consummation of God’s strategic plan to ultimately restore a perfect kingdom–for eternity through Jesus, the Christ. (2:1-15)

2. CRITERIA: “He will famish all the gods of the earth, and to him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations.” (2:11)

3. CONDITION: “Desolation on Judah’s enemies.” (2:1-15)

4. CAUSE: “Pride.” (2:10)

5. EFFECT: “The remnant of Judah will be restored.” (2:7)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.” (2:3)

Zephaniah 3, Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations

I. KEY TEXT: “Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God. Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning. Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law.” (3:1-4)

A. INFERENCE: The Lord within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame.” (3:5)

1. FINDINGS: Conversion . . . “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.” (3:9)

2. CRITERIA: “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant one, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain (Zion)” (3:11)

3. CONDITION: “But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord, those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” (3:12-13)

4. CAUSE: “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.” (3:15)

5. EFFECT: “I have cut off nations; their battlements are in ruins; I have laid waste their streets so that no one walks in them; their cities have been made desolate, without a man, without an inhabitant.” (3:6)

6. RECOMMENDATION: “Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,’ says the Lord.” (3:19-20)

 

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