Micah is seven chapters long. Micah lived at the same time as Isaiah. He challenged all those in authority within Judaism when they did wrong. It is noted that the reforms of Hezekiah were influenced by Micah and what he had to say. Micah prophesies doom and gloom with a little hope. That little hope that some are familiar with, is from Chapter 10:1-4 “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler over Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore, the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has born, and the rest of his brothers shall return to the children of Israel. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.” It is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus. Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited King of Israel!
Nahum is three chapters long. This book prophesies the fall of Nineveh which happened in 612 BC. Nahum seems joyful about such a bad thing happening there. Nineveh was part of Assyria. Assyria was known to be one of the most brutal captors. They had no respect for those they came to have power over. Most any enemy of the Assyrians would have a special dread of them and the most hatred for them. It might give us an idea as to why Jonah had such a loathing of Nineveh.
Habakkuk is also three chapters long. Habakkuk is an oracle complaining to God about the destruction he sees. He questions God as to why He allows evil to prosper. God answers with a prophesy of doom for those who do evil. Chapter Three is a canticle that Habakkuk prays glorifying God, despite any suffering that he may have to endure.
Zephaniah is three chapters long. This prophecy was in the time between 640-609 BC, during the reign of Josiah. He prophesies destruction and bad things to come. Chapter Two gives a faint glimmer of hope, “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have observed His law; Seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the Lords anger.” (Zep 2:3) How important it is for us to remain humble before God and listen to His ways.
Haggai is two chapters long and starts around 520 BC. The Samaritans were successful in keeping the Temple from being built again, and the people in the area were demoralized. I felt little hope of a future for the Jewish people after King Darius allowed them to build the Temple. Haggai encourages them to take heart and start building the Temple again.
Zechariah is 14 chapters long. It begins at around 520 BC like Haggai. The first half also encourages the rebuilding to the Temple in Jerusalem. In chapter nine, verse nine we should all be familiar with, “Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is He, Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” It is a prophecy of Palm Sunday.
The next book, Malachi, is the last book of the Old Testament. We can see that a prophet’s role was mostly to warn people of their path of destruction. It is no wonder so many of them were killed. Yet, we all need to be set straight once in a while, and that is what the prophets did. I hope we can thank God when he puts those kind of people in our lives.