Most of the Prophets of Israel or Judah exercised their ministries prior to the so-called Babylonian Captivity, before 586 BC. Then two of the Old Testament Prophets (Ezekiel and Daniel) wrote and preached during that sad 70 year span of time. But then again, a few men (Prophets indeed) led Judah after the (Babylonian but had eventually become Persian) Exile.
This last group would be known as “post-captivity” servants of God, Prophets.
Ezra 5:1 mentions two of these “heroes.” Notice with me … “Then the prophets, HAGGAI the prophet, and ZECHARIAH the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel (sort of like the governor) the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and WITH THEM WERE THE PROPHETS OF GOD HELPING THEM.” Well, I’ve included verse 2 also. Note the capitalized words. They need emphasis as you read.
There they are, two of them anyway, “post-captivity” men of God. (Actually there are three such Prophets, Malachi being considered in this category too.)
And then remember they (their sermons, their writings) are precisely placed at the end of the Old Testament … “Haggai and Zechariah and Malachi.” Exactly where they should be located, I might add. “Post exile” or sometimes called “post exilic” as they are.
Yes, Haggai is the same man as wrote the Book that bears his name. As a quick perusal of his little 2 chaptered (only 38 verses) Book shows. (The man was a virtual cheerleader for the building project at hand, the very Temple of Almighty God!)
And Zechariah? “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of IDDO the prophet, saying …” Zechariah 1:1, question asked … question answered! (Grown children and even much younger grandchildren too, all fell under the category of “sons” or “descendants” in those days. You could add great-grandchildren to that list as well.)
What’s the point in all this minutiae, you might be asking?
Simply this fact.
GOD ALWAYS HAS A PREACHER, A PROPHET, TO DELIVER HIS MESSAGE, TO DECLARE HIS WORD … AT ANY GIVEN TIME! PRE-CAPTIVITY … MID-CAPTIVITY … AND POST CAPTIVITY, THE PEOPLE OF GOD HAD A PROCLAIMER TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH!
Many believe (me included) that the 12 Old Testament “Minor Prophets” (Hosea through Malachi) are generally arranged in chronological order! With Hosea and Amos (the first two) being earlier and Zechariah and Malachi (the last two) being later.
A Prophet for all times, for all occasions!
Hebrews 1:1-2 further illustrates. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Wow!
Look at your Preacher carefully this coming Sunday! Shake his hand. Get his autograph! Make a quick photo. After all, if he’s a true God-called Man … he is in that long line of Servants of the Lord who were born … “for such a time as this!”
Preachers, my role models.
The ones who have stood true to God through the years.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Soon as you finish reading the Lesson today … pray for 3 dear Preachers you know and love. Who have been a help to you through the years.