Updated: Feb 5
Reading the Old Testament often means reading prophecies about destruction. The Lord frequently called prophets to warn the wicked that His judgments were upon them. The ministries of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah are good examples. In dreadful detail, these prophets foretold the downfall of cities that, at the time, seemed strong and powerful—Nineveh, Babylon, and even Jerusalem. But that was thousands of years ago. Why is it valuable to read these prophecies today?
Even though those prideful, wicked cities were destroyed, pride and wickedness persist. In today’s world, we can sometimes feel surrounded by the evils that were condemned by the ancient prophets. We may even detect traces of them in our own hearts. These Old Testament prophecies reveal how the Lord feels about pride and wickedness, and they teach that we can turn away from these evils. Perhaps that’s one reason we still read these ancient prophecies today. Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and the others weren’t just prophets of doom—they were prophets of deliverance. The descriptions of destruction are tempered by invitations to come unto Christ and receive His mercy: “Seek ye the Lord … ; seek righteousness, seek meekness” (Zephaniah 2:3). This was the Lord’s way anciently, and it is His way today. “His ways are everlasting” (Habakkuk 3:6).