God says that one of these days, all the nations of the world will unite in battle against Jerusalem. The city will fall on the first attack. It will be plundered and all the women raped and half the people will be sent into exile. But then on the second attack, God will enter the battle and defeat the enemies by causing them to rot. Like their eyes and their tongues will rot like the Nazis who looked in the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones! It will stand on the Mount of Olives and that mountain will split into and everyone will flee in terror! And then, it will always be spring and summer and always twilight! And two rivers will begin flowing from Jerusalem in different directions, like it’s the continental divide! And the only mountain will be the one Jerusalem is on! Everything else will be flat! And all the riches of the world will flow into Jerusalem! It will be the richest place on earth! And God will live there and be king of the world! And anyone who doesn’t worship It will suffer drought and starvation! And bells will all chime hymns! Everything will be great!
(So ends Zechariah. There is only one more Old Testament book left!)
Haggai wrote other letters to Governor Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel and High Priest Joshua ben Jehozadak about to give them God’s messages. In one of these letters, Haggai wrote, So God wants to know if any of y’all ever saw the Temple before it was destroyed? Or even read a description of it? Because It’s not, how shall I put this? impressed with the results so far. But no matter. It’s going to shake up the nations and make it rain on Judah so y’all can bling it up.
And another time, Haggai wrote to them to ask, Do y’all understand the difference between clean and unclean things? Like, have you even cracked open Leviticus? Because y’all keep offering some things the Lord don’t like. But, here’s what God’s willing to do. If you only offer the right sort of things in the right sort of ways, God will make sure that the crops stop suffering from blight and drought and that the next harvest will be huge.
In a third letter, Haggai wrote to Zerubbabel to tell him that God had chosen him as Its signet ring, and to remember that he was blessed and loved by God during the coming wars.
The end! More about the Second Temple in Zechariah 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.
Amos told everyone, God showed me possible futures. First, God showed me a swarm of locusts eating up the harvests and everyone starving. I begged it not to do that to us. So It said It wouldn’t. Then It showed me a wildfire burning up Israel, and again I begged It to please not let that happen. And God said It wouldn’t. Later it showed me a really straight tall wall, and asked, what do you see? And I answered, a wall. And It was, Exactly. This wall means that I will spare Israel no longer. It will be destroyed.
Because Amos went around telling people stuff like this, the priest Amaziah sent a letter complaining to King Jeroboam that Amos was a troublemaker. On the king’s authority, Amaziah told Amos to get the hell out of Israel and go back to Judah. Amos was all, Look, I’m just a shepherd. But God commanded me to come to Israel to tell you all these things. And It tells me I have to stay and continue. So for trying to stop me, God will curse you. Your wife will become a whore and you children will be murdered. Your land will be stolen and you will be sent into exile with the rest of the Israelites.
Woe to the complacent who don’t worry about impending disaster! Who turn blind eyes to the signs of the impending disasters! You say, nothing’s happened yet, so who cares, and continue wallowing in your decadence and luxury! Go! Look at the places that God as destroyed and know who did it!
God says, I absolutely detest your smug pride and I will cause nations to attack and destroy you!
Joel was all, Seriously guys, the invaders are a black cloud because they’ve burned everything in their wake. When they get here, they’ll burn our little slice of paradise too. So we better pray and beg God, like It wants.
The elders listened to Joel and gathered everyone and they sacrificed and prayed and repented.
So God was appeased and promised to end the drought and make the harvest good and that the invading army would be defeated and turn tail back to the north.
At some point, before both kingdoms fell, this dude named Joel ben Pethuel had a few messages from God to give to the elders:
Be said, alcoholics, because the wine has run out! The foreign invaders are like locusts. Locusts eat everything! They’re like a lioness with way too many teeth. Everyone needs to cry like women! You better beg God and tell it you’re sorry. Between the invading army and the drought, we’re all fucked!