minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson
THE BENEFITS OF DIVINE REVERENCE
Malachi 4

An assured promise is extended to those who have true respect for the Lord that is of great worth and significance. lt will be seen in the context that there are enormous benefits to be discovered and known for those who have a healthy regard for the LORD Almighty. They do not lose out but enjoy to the utmost level and degree so much from Him. lt is right and proper to honour the Lord apart from His love and goodness in the knowledge of who He is, but He also delights to show utmost regard for them who do so.

1/. THERE IS THE BLESSING OF HEALING – v2

The Lord is described as the Sun of Righteous ‘and He has the properties of health and the power to administer life and health to those that He arises upon. He is like the appearance of the sun as it arises in full glory and splendour to shine and bring its warmth and that brings its strength to bear upon creation for good. So the Lord comes to those who look for Him and regards Him with healing virtue.

2/. THERE IS THE BLESSING OF LIBERTY – v2

The description here is of young calves let loose to spring forth and reveal their vitality and liberty of life. They cannot contain their inward feelings but break forth to declare their pleasure and delight. Joy of an abundant nature becomes a manifest characteristic. There is no holding in of the delight felt.

3/. THERE IS THE BLESSING OF VICTORY – v3

The wicked and unrighteous that have had no respect for the Lord will be at the mercy of those who have treated the Lord aright. The righteous will triumph over the unrighteous and it will be altogether apparent that sin does not pay. In the first verse it is seen, the wicked will be utterly removed.

4/. THERE IS THE BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE – v4

The Lord will convey to them the importance of truly responding to His covenant law and because there is due respect for Him there will be due regard for His Word. Blessedness and divine benefits are always tied up in loving obedience to the Lord and this obtains under both covenants.

5/. THERE IS THE BLESSING OF RESTORATION – vv5, 6

There is the assurance that the Lord is to send His divine messenger who will bring restoration on a much wider front. There will be a turning to the Lord through his ministry and He will be greatly reverenced. John the Baptist preceded Him who came to bring divine knowledge and would draw people to a worthy and noble regard for God.

IMG_2090

Advertisements

minor prophets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
THE FAILURE OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

Malachi 1 -2: 9

The prophecy commences with a note on the emphasis and revelation of the love of the Lord. He declares and affirms wholeheartedly His intense affection by showing the distinctiveness of it as revealed in the difference manifest between Esau and Jacob. Unique love had been expressed to His chosen people and that had been for the benefit and blessedness not only of Israel but for the world of humanity.
But the real thrust of the message is against the priests because of an awful failure on their part which had not helped in relationship with God for the well being of the people. He is calling them to task over a definite issue – the failure to honour Him in the nation.

1/. HE REVEALS HE OUGHT TO BE HONOURED — v6

The point is made, if a son honours the father and the servant honours his master should not He be receiving the true and loving respect of those who had been appointed and anointed to act in a representative role honour Him. They had been honoured in being called to fulfil a noble office and they were a let- down to God and the people by their disreputable practices.

2/. HE REVEALS HOW THEY HAD DISHONOURED HIM – vv6-10

It was reflected in what they were doing with the matter of the sacrifices and offerings. They were giving to God the second best, what we would call the riff-raff. It was an appalling thing they were doing, offering the blind, lame and halt animals. What a way to treat Jehovah who had so rich blessed and loved them!

3/.HE REVEALS HE IS BEING HONOURED BY THE HEATHEN — v11

In contrast, the other nations were showing more respect. The place where one would not expect it to be revealed was making manifest a better attitude and action. He had more honour from other quarters. This ought to shame them for this breach of honour.

4/. HE REVEALS THE EFFECT OF THIS ON THE PEOPLE —vv12-14

The sad thing was that the leadership were not helping the people they were to lead. They should have been communicating a true estimation of the Lord throughout the land and showing how He had to be truly feared and honoured. The people were becoming like their leaders and so the I dishonouring of the Lord on a wider front.

5/. HE REVEALS THE ULTIMATE CONSEQUENCES FOR THEM – 2: 1-9

It was inevitable that there was a price for such a procedure. Having rejected the divine warning they were to be judged.. There would be awful conflict and loss and a lack of peace and security would be experienced.

IMG_2090

minor prophets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
THE ASSURANCES OF GOD

Haggai 2

Having responded to the stirring words of the prophet from the Lord, and the spiritual and practical movement having commenced, the Lord now takes things a further stage forward. He utters great assurances that were intended to inspire and assist the leaders and people in a greater way. By these messages He was revealing that their endeavour would not be a waste of time and energy but there would be inevitably good returns. The assurances were great because they came from a great God and would be wrought in a great manner and measure.

1/. THE ASSURANCE REGARDING THE PEOPLE -vv1-5

The thing that essentially mattered at the start was that they should set to work with a good heart with regard to the building of the Temple. They must not be disheartened because in material substance it was nothing in comparison to the sanctuary built by Solomon. It had to be remembered that circumstances were different then in many ways. In comparison the people now were much fewer and less prosperous. The vital thing was to become excited at the prospect of seeing a building built for God. It should be approached with good will etc., because the Lord was amongst them by His Spirit.

2/. THE ASSURANCE REGARDING THE TEMPLE -vv6-9

They need not be too concerned as to the outcome if they did their part. The Lord gives real prophetic testimony here by stating that abundance of treasures would come to this Temple and that the glory of this house would be greater than the former. Peace would be its hallmark. They need not worry about the aspect of silver and gold because it was all His. What they were doing was worth going for.

3/. THE ASSURANCE REGARDING THE LAND -vv10-19

As they gave themselves to obedience to His Word they would discover something uniquely taking place in the following harvest. Already the seed that was to be sown was divinely blessed and as a result would yield prolifically. The curse would be off the land and there would be a bumper harvest for all. Not only blessing on the land but on their lives. They would discover very soon that as they had meant work and given themselves to God’s business He had given Himself to their welfare.

4/. THE ASSURANCE REGARDING THE MAN -vv20-23

The ultimate assurance is to Zerubbabel a leader and an individual who must have given a real lead in matters. He also stood representative of the people. He is informed of what was going to happen around amongst the nations. There is the great prediction of the fact that he will be honoured by the Lord. Best of all he is told that he is a chosen person, choice in the sight of the Lord and in a special place of close relationship – a signet ring on the finger of the Lord. It will certainly be because the LORD Almighty has spoken!

IMG_2168

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson
A CHALLENGING MESSAGE

Haggai 1

This prophet, Haggai, was one of the inspiring messengers following the exile in Babylon. It had been a difficult time whilst they were aliens and on their return things had been far from easy. But this man of God comes to challenge the immediate set up and get things into divine perspective so that everything would begin to move ahead and prosper as God had designed. His task was stir up the leaders and the people into a worthwhile project that if accepted and engaged upon would bring some profitable returns besides honouring the Lord.

1/. THE CHALLENGE WAS TO CONSIDER THE IMMEDIATE STATEMENT -v2

One notes the democratic mind and mood of the people. It was completely negative towards to the matter of building the Lord’s Temple. What was actually present was a spirit and state of indifference towards the most important consideration and which should have been primary on their agenda. A consideration of their history with its subsequent judgement would have made evident the fact that it was because of negligence and indifference to the Lord that had landed them in difficulty and in exile. What they were doing and saying was procrastinating with an issue of major importance. They were voicing an excuse that freed them seemingly from a task that should have had their wholehearted devotion. Haggai challenges that mental and spiritual state and rightly so.

2/. THE CHALLENGE WAS TO FACE WHAT WAS REALLY OCCURRING -vv3-6

The amazing thing was that they could make sure that their own houses and residences were erected and put up. There was nothing wrong for that engagement but it was wrong in the light of the neglect of God’s House. The release from exile had all been the Lord’s doing but there is no sense or conviction that He ought to be essentially thought about at that hour.

The argument is made by the prophet, that they were in economic difficulty because of this wrong attitude and action. Things were not running successfully and there was not much prosperity abroad. Much investment had taken place but there had been little by way of returns. All their expectations were falling apart and nothing was working to their advantage.

3/. THE CHALLENGE WAS TO RESPOND TO THE DIVINE DIRECTIVE – w7-11

The summons is to put the Lord first and get on with building the divine sanctuary. If they took the time to truly honour the Lord they would soon discover that the curse would be lifted off the ground and their labours and there would come into being a glorious condition of increase and growth.

CONCLUSION

Everyone becomes stirred and moves into action – vv12-15.

A new zeal and enthusiasm was abroad which must have gladdened the heart of the Lord.

A united state existed to get this thing on the way.

20140713_075952

minor prophets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
A CLEAN SWEEP

Zephaniah 1-3:8

There are occasions, because of the awful mess that has been created, that there has to be a clean sweep of the rubbish and ruin. When things have deteriorated to such a level that all that can be seen is garbish and rot, then there has to take place a complete removal of such, and this is usually known as “a clean sweep.” Before anything is likely to arise of worth and value this must precede. There is no other way of getting a fresh start and of causing things to improve and develop in a right and profitable manner than this to occur. The Lord has to do this with nations and situations that arise on planet earth and it is unfolded in this prophetic revelation. In fact 1:2 says: “I will sweep away everything in all your land.” It is quite an awesome disclosure.

1/. IT WAS TO OCCUR TO GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE -1: – 2: 3

Although they had a special and unique relationship with Jehovah, He was going to take measures out against them because they had miserably failed to fulfil His expectations and their destiny. They were to be the first in line to experience the clean sweep. They ought to have known better because they had so much wrought for them and been the recipients of divine revelation and grace but they missed out and finished as rubbish. It was mainly due to their acceptance and worship of pagan deities and so the Lord makes it clear He will remove the rubbish. This state of affairs cannot continue unless a genuine experience of repentance was manifest – 2: 1-3, but this was not to be. The slate would be wiped clean in readiness for something better.

2/. IT WAS TO OCCUR TO OTHER HEATHEN NATIONS – 2: 4-15

Nations situated around would not escape. If God is to judge His Church, His elect household, the rest of peoples must not think that they will go without divine action. The principle with the Lord is judgement begins at His house, that which is closest to Him and then further afield. Here there is a list of nations: Philistia, Moab, Ammon, EWiiopia and Assyria. In each instance there are expressions that make it obvious that by the time the Lord has finished He will have swept away the wicked and the wickedness. The language portrays what happens when He moves in judgement. For example He says: “Moab and Ammon will be destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorhha” – 2: 9.

3/. IT IS TO OCCUR IN THE END TIMES – 3:1-8

It seems that the lessons of history has never been learned by the nations – vv6, 7. There is a relentless procedure of evil and civilizations arise continuing the former practices of their forbears. Sin is so inbred and prevalent it is still around in the great finale. The ultimate times will birth and bring an enormous amount of filth and corruption. One should not be surprised as to what will be spewed out in the climax of this world age. The cup of iniquity is getting full worldwide. It is about to experience the final clean sweep of God. The present floodtide of sin is to be dealt efficiently by the Lord in His just wrath and anger – vv8, 9. It will not be tolerated and it will be in readiness for something better and lasting – v9.

20140506_190109

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson

A SETTLED STATE

Habakkuk 3

It is always beneficial to be in a place where the mind and heart is in a condition of true peace and rest in spite of the things that are difficult and disturbing all around. This section gives a real impression of this in the life and experience of God’s servant. Because of God’s interruption through His word, things had come to a state of balance and calm and the prophet was now able to express himself in a positive manner and reveal some precious truths. This is what God does in testing and in the training of those who would be effectual for him both in life and ministry. This is reflected

1/. IN THE PRAYER HE MAKES – vv1,2

The Lord becomes the great stabling influence within his being as he meditates on Him and all that He has wrought. He stands in awe of Him and is filled with a sense of holy reverence of His person and wonderful deeds. There is no One to be compared with Him and he knows deep within that He is in control of all. Because of this, He can lift up his voice in prayer to Him and prayer has a settling ministry when it is performed correctly. He appeals to the Lord to demonstrate His power and help His people once again. There is an awareness of the tender mercy and compassion of the Lord and this is pacifying factor.

2/. IN THE VISION HE SEES – vv3-16

Things move on as he has a beautiful disclosure of the Lord. In the vision, he was moved by the sight of the glory and majesty of the Lord as it is unfolded before him. This is another means of administrating calm within his breast. Everything is moved by the appearance of the Lord and so is he. There is the evident association with what the Lord did when He brought His people out of Egypt in the parting of the Red Sea and the dealing with the enemy. God settled matters that day with an amazing miracle and He had settled his inward state. Whilst he staggers and reels at the glorious display of God, he can now quietly wait for God’s next move on behalf of His people – v16.

3/. IN THE STATEMENT HE MAKES – vv17-19

He is now in such a great state of mind and heart he can make an astounding declaration of faith. As far as he is concerned the most wretched and awful conditions externally can exist and this will not disturb his condition within created by the Lord. All the worst things can happen but he will not be budged from the new spiritual attitude that has been birthed and developed within. When everything is in a despairing situation he will be found in buoyant mood. He has discovered the wings of praise and joy in the Lord. He will not set his eyes on the outward circumstances but focus them on the Lord and will sing with delight at the knowledge of His sovereign grace and power. He has now the facility to overcome all questionings. Dilemma and doubt etc. The blessed consequence of this settled state is a new force and strength from God and he is able to make great progress like the deer and mount the mountains and cross them with ease.

20140416_094608

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson

AN ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM

Habakkuk 2

God’s servant was in difficulty and dilemma because of the inexplicable. He voices the fact that he will sit back until he hears from God with regard to his major problem – v1. He must have sensed in his spirit that the Lord would answer him with regard to the matter of the inexplicable, and He did! The Lord was not in difficulty on the issue and could put the matter clear and straight -w2, 3. It would be simple, easy to put down and read and certain of fulfilment. It would be a sound statement of divine principle that required a constant putting into practice and it was and is of an unchanging order: “The just shall live by his faith” – v4. This truly sums up how life has to be lived: righteously and believingly and is of an unchanging order.

1/. THE RIGHTEOUS ARE OF A HUMBLE DISPOSITION – v4

The proud and the arrogant have no time for God because they are full of themselves. Life and everything revolves around their own person and works. The Lord does not get a look in on life at all because their world revolves inwardly and completely around their own being. Everything has to stem from and return back in their direction and this is a real problem – the sin of pride. Sin has inverted man and made all turn inward and so the wrong principle operates. But the humble reject this worldly and evil spirit and ideology.

2/. THE RIGHTEOUS ARE COMMITTED TO RIGHTEOUSNESS – v4

They are made righteous by faith and live a life of righteousness by the same divine principle. There is a complete rejection of the evil dynamic of sin and pride and a divine spirit and drive of pure trust that seeks the ways and paths of righteousness. It has knowledge of what is right and wrong and chooses what is right according to the standards of God. There is unquestioning love and faith.

3/. THE RIGHTEOUS REST THEIR LIVES AND CAUSE IN GOD – v4

There is a movement away from simply asking the Lord for answers all the time and it knows there will be occasions when all naturally will be inexplicable but there will always be a calm confidence in God. There is an awareness God is Father and knows what he is doing – John 13:7; 114, 6. The spiritual conflict factor is over and there is a quiet confidence expressed to and in the Lord.

4/. THE RIGHTEOUS SEE THE RESULT OF SIN – vv5-19

This section deals with the utter parade of wickedness and makes known the fact it receives its just deserts. All who practice evil will reap its fruit inevitably and the righteous sense it. It is a dominant conviction of life and preserves from sin.

5/. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS KNOW THE WORD OF THE LORD – v20

Two things dictate their inward frame (1) The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. (2) The Lord sits in His holy Temple. The Righteous One will be justified before all and so will the righteous.

20140713_075952

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson

A DIVINE PREVIEW

Zechariah 14

The Lord gives a revelation and unfolding of what is really going to happen at the end of time. There is the distinct disclosure of the fact that the Lord will rule over the entire earth when everything has reached its climax. This is an assuring fact to those who have placed their faith and confidence in Him. He will bring to pass His eternal purpose in spite of all His adversaries, be they demonical powers or men. The long distance view makes known where things are heading and the signs are, we are close to fulfilment. it is good to note what is to happen especially in relation to God’s people and Jerusalem.

1/. THE HOLY CITY IS UNDER THREAT AND CONFLICT —vv1, 2

The final battle will be over Jerusalem and many adversaries will be set on the destruction of this Holy Place. For a while it would seem that things do not go well for God’s people and the situation looks grave and disastrous. They are seen to be in a vulnerable and exposed state.

2/. THE LORD IS T0 EMBRACE THE CAUSE OF ISRAEL IN A UNIQUE WAY vv3, 4

lt is at this point that the Lord of hosts moves in with His invincible army and espouses the cause of Israel and will make His presence and power known. He may have gone to heaven with not many onlookers – Acts 1, but His second advent will be different as Olivet feels the touch of His feet. lt will split apart and divide north and south. Truly, an earth-shattering event!

3/. THE FACT THAT NATURE IS TO GO UNDER MIRACULOUS CHANGE -vv4-8

There is to be a unique source and means of light and it will be of a continuous nature. The Dead Sea will no longer remain in its former condition because there is not only going to inflow but the beginning of outflow and so it will lose its previous status. It is to be a Sea of Life. It will become a real blessing t0 all.

4/. THE ENEMIES ARE TO SUFFER UTTER DEFEAT AND DEATH -vv12-15

Those who stand in opposition will be dealt with in quite an alarming fashion.

Death will come in quite a staggering way. All that the Lord will have to do to show His displeasure is to send a plague that will provoke an horrible manner of death. It will be both awful and awesome!

5/. THE LORD WILL BE KING AND ALL NATIONS WILL HAVE TO COME AND WORSHIP — vv9-11, 16-21

All that is false will have been swept away and He will be seen as the sole ruler of the world. He will have no rival. All the nations will be brought to heel and will have to acknowledge the truth and fact. His rule will become powerfully evident.

hydrangers-300x199

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev.E. Anderson

THE DAY TO BE

Zechariah 12 & 13

There is this repeated phrase that is mentioned often – “on that day.” This indicates prophecy and makes known that specific things of a divine order are going to be introduced and wrought. lt signifies by the content of what is said that some choice things are in hand and are going to be outworked and fulfilled in God’s good time and in accordance with His grace and power. What is said may be a long time in coming as far as Israel is concerned but the people need not worry; it shall be so. Looking at each one it is possible to detect what is actually going to occur in the end times.

1/. ISRAEL IS TO BE A BURDEN TO THE WORLD — 12: 1-3

Attention will be focused on God’s people in the closing days and become like a burden-some stone around the neck of the nations. This people will be the centre of the world’s thought and action. This prophetic people will on centre stage so that all people will know there is something uniquely happening. It will be apparent that a major issue is being worked out by God and all should note. This appears to be the case today.

3/. ISRAEL WILL KNOW A UNIQUENESS OF DIVINE STRENGTH – 12: 4, 5

Though beset with people that wish and plan her downfall yet she will not only survive, she will be strong in the midst of this situation. The Lord Almighty will be her strength and defence and secure her welfare amidst the hatred and animosity. Though like a flock of sheep surrounded by evil factors there will be an impartation of divine power and ability that will nerve her.

3/. ISRAEL WILL BE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH — 12:6-9

Because made strong she will be able to stand and fight. The same spirit that was in the forefather David will be manifest once again and they will rise to contend with the enemies no matter how many they be. The Lord will be safeguarding their interests and make sure that they will not be defeated but overcome impossible odds.

4/. ISRAEL WILL HAVE A REVELATION OF THEIR TRUE MESSIAH – 12: 10-14

lt is evident it is the wind up of things because of the appearance of their Messiah and it will be disclosed to them that it is none other than Jesus Christ, the one that was put on the Cross. The tragic mistake of previous centuries will dawn upon the people and their will be a genuine state of repentance.

5/. ISRAEL WILL KNOW A DEEP CLEANSING AND FORGIVENESS — 13: 1-6

A divine act of grace ensures a glorious cleansing and renewal that brings about the removal of all evil from their hearts and the land.

the-walled-garden

 

minor prophets

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson

THE DIVINE SHEPHERD

Zechariah 11

One of the principal ministries to be known and exercised within that of God’s ancient people was that of a shepherd. God’s people were likened to a flock of

sheep. It can be readily understood because one of the main vocational factors was that of the shepherding. There were an abundance of sheep and sheepfolds and this called for people who knew how to tend sheep efficiently and successfully. The same could be said on the spiritual front. They had known some very great and good shepherds, namely Moses and David. At the time of Zechariah he could foresee what was going to occur down the line, the appearance of shepherd/leaders who did not care about the Flock of God and they are branded evil shepherds. However, he speaks prophetically of one who

would stand out in Israel’s history in a unique way and give details regarding Him. The prophecy can only refer to Jesus Christ.

1/. HE STOOD IN CONTRAST TO THE EVIL SHEPHERDS AND EXPOSED THEM – vv4-7

Regrettably Israel had been beset with leaders that simply fleeced the flock to their own end. They had never sought to care, feed and look truly after the Lord’s elect but had used and abused them to their own advantage. They were not genuinely interested in the good of the people but the looking after their own interests. Really, the people were like sheep without a shepherd. Christ came and exposed the falseness of these leaders in His day and they didn’t like it. In contrast, He went after winning and wooing the nation to Jehovah in caring for them in a magnificent manner.

2/. HE REVOKES THE DIVINE COVENANT THAT GOD HAD MADE WITH THIS PEOPLE- vv8-11

The time came however when a decision had to be made. There was an animosity and hatred towards Him in spite of all the good done. He had definitely tried and showed the heart of God when He said: “How often I would have gathered you.” Israel failed to respond to the previous prophets and now were to turn away from the greatest Shepherd of all. The Lord makes a definite decision to break covenant with this people. They are to be rejected and be in a position of lost identity and dignity and present destiny. What could have been was lost and it was to become a nation of wanderers without a divine leader.

3/. HE PAYS A PRICE FOR THE ROLE THAT HE FULFILLED – vv12-14

Israel rejected Christ and had Him done away in crucifixion. He was to be sold

for ‘thirty pieces of silver’ and the amount ‘thrown to the potters in the Temple.’ From that moment the covenant was broken and it was carried through to the Cross. Thankfully a New Covenant of greater worth was being established and He was to become the Great and Good Shepherd on a greater scale.

4/. HE MAKES THE WAY FOR ANOTHER FALSE SHEPHERD TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP -vv15-17

Since that time, Israel has been exposed to worthless shepherding and it will not be rectified until the Messiah returns to manifest His grace.

SP_A0038

« Older entries