Efforts were made during the tumultuous time of the returning exiles described in Ezra to rebuild the Temple. The prophet Haggai wrote to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel, and the high priest, Joshua ben Jehozadek, that God wanted Its house rebuilt and ASAP. Haggai wrote, God wants to know if y’all think it’s ok that y’all are living in houses and It’s still homeless? God also wants you to know that the reason nothing y’all do down in Judah ever prospers is because y’all have left It homeless. Until you rebuild God’s house, you will never be able to turn a profit or grow enough crops!
So Zerubbabel and Joshuah organized the people to get the materials and crews to rebuild the Temple.
Zephaniah declared, Woe to Jerusalem, that hotbed of corrupt politicians and religious leaders! God’s punishments are always just, so when It destroys a place, like it will Jerusalem, that place and its people deserve it! But one day, when everyone in the world speaks the same language, they will also turn to the one true God–the Hebrew God–and then the world will be perfect. There will be no more lies or corruption or greed or injustice! Then Jerusalem will be restored and will be the center of the world! So everyone rejoice that God will eventually raise you up, even if it first destroys you!
Zephaniah continued, And God’s not just gonna take down Judah. No. Not hardly. God is going to take down every nation that has ever had a beef with Judah. See, It might be mad at the Hebrews, but they’re still Its people, and Its got their backs. So any nation that ever went to war with Judah, or even scoffed at it or made fun of it, is going down. Gaza will be a wasteland, and the destruction of Philistia, Canaan, Moab, Ammon, Cush, and, yes Assyria, will make what It did to Sodom and Gomorrah look like a party!
During the reign of Josiah, Zephaniah ben Cushi ben Gedaliah ben Amariah ben Hezekiah prophesied doom for Judah and the whole world. Zephaniah preached, God has told me that It will sweep away everything from the face of the earth! Every plant, every bug, every bird, every beast, and every cheating Hebrew who worships Baal on the side! It will punish every noble and prince who traipse about in foreign duds and every worker who cheats his boss! It will search all of Jerusalem and ferret out every cheating cheater and make them pay! A day of wrath, a day of doom, a day of destruction is at hand! God will pour out distress upon humans and the earth will drink their blood!
Yahweh, you’ll find
there’s only one love,
yours ‘n’ mankind.
You’ve got so much love.
We’re needing you so,
your love for us,
you’ll never let go.
You’ve got so much love.
All I want is to praise you.
Let me show you how much I worship you, God.
I don’t mind, I don’t mind (worshiping you).
God, I love you.
Nothing’s above you.
You made the sun.
You made the rain.
You made my life and this foolish game.
You always know
I love you so,
even if you smite us again and again.
The end! More prophesying about the end of Judah in Zephaniah next time!
Habakkuk continued, I’ll wait for my answer over here.
God was all, You better write this down, bro, because what I’m about to drop this so important. First, true believers live by faith alone. They don’t need no evidence! Second, wine and/or wealth totally leads to greed, sin, and Sheol. Furthermore, in this message is for the Babylonians, even though I’m sending you to punish Judah, woe to you! Woe to you because you’ve plundered nations! Woe to you because you colonized other lands! Woe to you for building new towns on top of ones you had destroyed and murdered the inhabitants! Woe to people who get their neighbors drunk in order to date rape them! Woe to those who worship idols, especially when those idols are money!
Habakkuk the prophet complained God, Why, God, haven’t you destroyed this sinful place? You keep promising to do it, but you haven’t done it yet!
God answered, Hold your damn horses! I’m working on it! It even takes me some time to build up Babylon into a colonizing and destroying force. But it’ll happen! Soon! I pinky swear.
Then Habakkuk complained, Why, God, do evil people prosper? I look around me and it’s always bad people with all the damn money.
Nineveh, get ready for the siege, although will do you no good. God has decided on your destruction, and you are no better than any of the other nations It has destroyed. Your city will be burned! Piles of corpses like mountains will litter the streets! You will be treated like the whore you are! You’ll be stripped naked, all the nations will laugh at your filth!
So ends Nahum. Next are the complaints of Habakkuk.
Beware, Assyrians! The enemy is coming. Man the ramparts! Not that it will do you any good because God has decided upon your destruction. An army in red uniforms will besiege and overwhelm Nineveh. Their chariots will tear through the streets! Neighborhoods will burn! The King’s wives and mistresses will be raped and sold into slavery! The city will be plundered. Desolation! Desolation! All will be lost.
When Assyria was busy destroying Israel and subduing Judah, Nahum of Elkosh received a message from God about Assyria’s capital, Nineveh. He went around saying, God causes natural disasters. It makes earthquakes and floods, droughts and whirlwinds! God is a jealous and angry god and It punishes those that piss It off! So don’t worry, Judah! God might be punishing you right now, but trust that It has worse in store for those that subdue and oppress you! Nineveh, God has your number! It says you are vile and It will make your grave!