Last time we examined some of the Old Testament prophets, whom God inspired with the Holy Spirit, so that they could speak for Him to His children in Judah and Israel. Their tasks included issuing a warning that conquest and enslavement awaited those who would not desist from their rebellious ways against Jehovah God. In addition, as they were to bring the continuing message of hope for eventual salvation through the coming Messiah. In other words, the prophets were trying to recruit God’s children for citizenship in the city of God…
Let’s finish with the final prophets:
“…on Mount Zion [in Jerusalem] there shall be [deliverance for] those who escape, and it shall be holy [no pagan will defile it]; and the house of Jacob shall possess their [former] possessions.
The deliverers shall go up to Mount Zion to rule and judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom and the kingship shall be the LORD’s.’ Ob. 1;17 & 21. AMP
Thus, the prophet Obadiah brings the hope (God’s guarantee) that the holy city of Jerusalem shall be restored, along with God’s children that return to Him; and all their enemies (Esau), shall be brought under the rule of God.
The prophet Habakkuk was a contemporary of Obadiah:
Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. The vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” Hab. 2:2, 3. ESV
Keeping the flame of hope burning bright.
The prophet Jeremiah was also a contemporary of Habakkuk, bringing hope first to those in Judah that were being carried off to a Babylonian exile, and simultaneously carrying a message of hope for all of us:
“Behold (listen closely), the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as King and act wisely and will do [those things that accomplish] justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called; ‘The LORD Our Righteousness.’ Jer. 23:5, 6. AMP
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and with the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom)…” Jer. 31:31 AMP
The new covenant is God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, the King, the very image and character of God Himself – reigning in the city of God.
Finally, let us consider the prophets God sent at the end of the Israelites’ captivity – beginning with Daniel:
“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, on the clouds of heaven One like the Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him (the Messiah) was given dominion (supreme authority), glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language should serve and worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” Dan. 7:13, 14. AMP
Here we see the ruling scepter given from the Father to the Son, bequeathing upon Jesus an eternal kingdom – the promise of love, joy and peace forever.
Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel, in the Babylonian captivity as well, also set forth by God to keep the torch of hope alive:
“Then I will appoint over them one shepherd and he will feed them, [a ruler like] My servant David; he will feed them and be their shepherd.” Ezek. 34:23 AMP
I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king will rule over all of them. They will no longer be two nations and will no longer be divided into two kingdoms…I will save them from all their apostasies by which they sinned, and I will cleanse them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God. Ezek. 37:22, 23. CSB
Unification, sins removed, with God and His shepherd among us…
During the resettling of the surviving Judean exiles, the prophet Zechariah describes the coming of Christ as King in His celebratory entrance into Jerusalem (500 years before it happened), as well as the ultimate state of His global kingship:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey…He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Zech. 9:9, 10. NKJV
The final prophet we hear from is Malachi, (the last Holy Spirit-inspired writer of the Old Testament), who prophesied in approximately 450 B.C., in Judah – again to the re-settlers:
“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles…for My name shall be great among the nations…” Mal. 1:11 NKJV
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will prepare and clear the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come into His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. Mal. 3:1 AMP
God will unite all the nations in the city of God, reigning with His Son.
…a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who fear the LORD [with an attitude of reverence and respect] and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” say the LORD of hosts, “on that day when I publicly recognize them and openly declare them to be My own possession [that is, My very special treasure]. And I will have compassion on them and spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Mal. 3:16, 17. AMP
God has set aside for Himself, the book of Life. All those written in there, (those who love God and obey Him to the best of their ability), will step into eternity, living with the Father and the Son in the city of God…
You see then, for over a thousand years, God has been bringing a slew of godly shoulders for you to stand upon, to gather strength, faith and hope.
The world had to wait for another 400 years, but God made good on every promise. Jesus Christ lived among us. He delivered the gospel; and He empowered (through the Holy Spirit) all of His apostles to expound upon it those things which He did not have time to explain in His three short years of ministry. And the earth was changed forever, as was all of our destinies – dependent upon where our faith lies.
And let us not forget all those in ministry who have borne the light of the gospel throughout the centuries after Christ ascended to heaven. They too shouldered us, left us a legacy of hope. Now it is time for us to lend our shoulders to everyone we meet, that they might be lifted up into the city of God as well.
Up until Jesus returns, the city of the earth and the city of God’s destinies have been intertwined:
…the mortal course of the two cities, the heavenly and the earthly, which are mingled from the beginning down to the end. Of these, the earthly one has made herself of whom she would, either from any other quarter or even from among men, false gods whom she might serve by sacrifice; but she which is heavenly and is a pilgrim on the earth does not make false gods, but is herself made by the true God of whom she herself must be the true sacrifice.
Yet both alike either enjoy temporal good things, or are afflicted with temporal evils, but with diverse faith, diverse hope, and diverse love, until they must be separated by the last judgment, and each must receive her own end, of which there is no end. – St. Augustine
Then, they will differ in a big way – next time…
Goodnight and God bless.