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!
Woe is me! I feel as used up and barren the field after harvest. I feel so alone. Because it seems like only sinners and evildoers are left in the world. I mean, you can’t trust anyone! You can’t trust your neighbor – he’ll screw you over! You can’t trust your wife –she’ll broadcast your secrets all over town! You can trust your kids – they totally defy you and are complete dicks! Don’t gloat yet, haters! Because whenI look like I’m down, that’s when God’s gonna lift me up!
But God will eventually forgive Its chosen children to give us back the promised land. One day, God, all the people will come worship you like they’re supposed to. From Egypt to Assyria, from sea to shining sea, your righteous worshipers will rule! All the rest of the world will be a barren wasteland, and every other nation will be sad and ashamed.
(The end. The next few books are really short!)
In that future time, Micah bellowed, the once and future King will be born in the wee city of Bethlehem! That King will bring glory back to Judah! And when the Assyrians come again to conquer us and they will be conquered! People in exile will be returned! And in that time God will destroy the armies and strongholds! It will destroy fortunetellers and psychics! It will destroy idols and Asherim! In anger and wrath, It will destroy all nations that do not obey!
But it’s not all bad, guys, continued Micah. God will raise a mountain! The highest mountain! That mountain will be the center of the world. From far and near people will come to learn God’s rules. There will be peace! There’ll be prosperity! Swords will be beaten to plowshares! Spears to pruning hooks! Exiles will come home! The disabled will be honored! Jerusalem will be the best city in the world! So don’t cry, people! Even if everything sucks right now. It’s your own fault that everyone is wailing like women in labor. I know it seems like the whole world is against you. Right now they are. Judah will lose, her people will be taken to exile in Babylon. But it’s all okay! Because of that mountain. Because God will redeem and forgive you. Eventually.
The angel continued, Then the world will end and the holy dead will rise and go to heaven in the rapture.
Daniel was all, So when’s all this supposed to happen?
And the angel was all, A really long time from now. Don’t worry about it. Just continue being your awesome self.
Next time Hosea, a misogynistic trip back into time to before the exile