“I can’t understand it. It’s boring. It isn’t relevant to my life today.” Maybe you’ve heard these phrases before in conversations about certain books of the Bible. Or maybe, like me, you’ve even been guilty of thinking them yourself.
Because let’s face it, some books are more fun to read. Take the Psalms for instance. Who could weave praises together with Holy Spirit inspiration better than King David? Or Paul’s missionary journey in Acts. Who doesn’t love reading such hope-filled, encouraging messages?
The entire message of the gospel can be summed up in this one sentence, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32). The imagery and description found in Joel brings this message to life for readers.
Obadiah, the shortest book of the Old Testament, shows what will happen to Edom for mistreating God’s people. “Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever” (Obadiah 1:10). Other places in Scripture boldly proclaim the truth about God’s judgement and end with a call to repentance, but not here. Edom’s fate is sealed.
Obadiah brings to the forefront a subject we don’t like to talk about because it often causes debate among believers. We are called to stand with God’s chosen people. The book of Obadiah offers proof of that principle.
You most likely remember Jonah – swallowed by a whale, called to share an unpopular message with Nineveh. But did you know Nahum is a continuation of Nineveh’s story? At the end of the book of Jonah, God showed mercy on Nineveh. They accepted the message and responded with repentance, but that didn’t last.
We have all been guilty of this. We take our mistakes to God, and He surrounds us with grace and love. God gives us another chance. But after a time, we forget. We revisit that old lifestyle. We pick up old habits. The book of Nahum brings a message of caution to believers. God’s justice will prevail. We must continue to walk in His mercy without turning back to our former ways.
[put together by Kristine Brown]