Category Archives: Prophesy Vibes

The Vibe of Malachi

The vibe has become weary. It’s been a long time since God rescued his people and brought them home from Babylon. The Temple has been rebuilt but the good times promised by the prophets haven’t arrived, neither has the Messiah shown up to pass judgment. A general vibe of malaise has set in, people are only sacrificing the animals they are keen to get rid of, they are marrying foreigners, giving less money than they should to the Temple and behaving badly because hey, bad people can do what they like. Malachi reminds them that the Day of Judgment is still coming when the bad will perish and the good will prosper.

Malachi is trying to keep the vibe going in the face of apathy and indifference. It’s going to be a long wait before Jesus arrives to fulfil the promises made by the prophets but Malachi wants to make sure that everyone stays on guard. His is the last watch of the Old Testament, and after he puts down his quill the vibe is put on hold for over 400 years.

General vibe of Malachi: Jesus is coming, look busy.

Factvibe: No one knows the name of the Old Testament’s last prophet.  Malachi simply means ‘Messenger of Jehovah.’

The vibe of Malachi in a Tshirt

The Vibe of Haggai

The Israelites have come home from their lengthy stint as POWs in Babylon but their Temple is still in ruins. The people are living a hand to mouth vibe and they have barely enough of anything.

Haggai puts two and two together and tells the people they need to get their priorities right. Once they rebuild the Temple, everything else will fall into place. Surprisingly, given their history of ignoring prophets, the Israelites take notice and work begins on the Temple.

Despite the finished result being a bit lacklustre, Haggai promises that God will fill it with riches. Up to now, the people’s attitude to God has been pretty half hearted and that’s why they haven’t enjoyed the vibes of prosperity. But with God out in front, the future is bright. Unexpectedly sunny vibes all round.

General vibe of Haggai: God will provide.

Factvibe: A stickler for detail, Haggai is the only author in the Bible who notes the exact day and month of his vibes.

Cue hard hats and spirit levels – it’s the DIY vibe of Haggai

 

The Vibe of Zephaniah

Some might say that Zephaniah has the vibes of a spoil sport. His suggestion that the Day of the Lord will be the polar opposite of a party isn’t the news everyone wants to hear.

But Zephaniah perseveres with his vibe: death and destruction will come to everyone who has made God angry by worshipping other gods, being violent and cheating people out of money. If the people don’t turn away from their ungodly behaviour, God will finish them, just like he will wipe out all the countries that have been brutal to his people.

The vibe is that everyone, wherever they are from will be judged. However, there will be survivors, and God will keep them safe and make them rich. In some ways, Zephaniah’s is a decluttering vibe. God will clear out the trash and only keep what he really needs. A heavenly bout of spring cleaning with God in charge of the broom.

General vibe of Zephaniah: Only the good will prosper.

Factvibe: Zephaniah was probably a member of Judah’s royal family.

The vibe of Zephaniah in a household cleaning tool

The Vibe of Habakkuk

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? This is the vibe that takes centre stage in Habakkuk. Habakkuk is upset that God is letting people get away with murder in Judah, and the vibe turns to astonishment that God has chosen to give Judah to its evil enemies, the Babylonians. The ‘what gives?’ vibe is answered simply by God. Yes Habakkuk’s fellow Judeans will receive a good kicking but ultimately everyone who doesn’t trust God, Babylonians included, will have to face the vibes of judgment.

Habakkuk is comforted by this and takes strength that, despite his homeland being laid waste, God will crush the Babylonians too. Everything that gives Habakkuk joy is about to disappear but he seems happy to trust in God and wait for the karmic vibes of schadenfreude to kick in when it’s Babylon’s turn to get a thrashing.

General vibe of Habakkuk: God knows best.

Factvibe: Habakkuk is the only prophet who openly questions the wisdom of God.

The heavy boot of judgment looms ominously over the vibe of Habakkuk

The Vibe of Nahum

The vibes which Nahum launches at the mighty Assyrian city of Nineveh can be measured in megatons. God is about to launch a terror attack that makes Noah’s Flood look compassionate. Nineveh is going to be paid back for attacking Israel less than a century earlier and God’s rage is raising itself up like an apocalyptic tsunami about to dump on the city, wiping it off the face of the planet. Breasts will be beaten, limbs will writhe and Nineveh will be stained with blood.

The vibe is gloating and triumphant – there is no escape and no redemption. Nineveh is going down and all who hear of the city’s fate ‘will clap their hands in joy’.

Nahum is not wrong. The Babylonians overrun Nineveh in 612BC and destroy it completely. A powerful, blood filled, awesome, brutal, mighty, vengeful vibe and an air punch for all who like seeing God’s justice in action.

General vibe of Nahum: The mighty fall harder.

Factvibe: The Assyrians were almost unbelievably cruel and not averse to skinning their enemies alive, hence the vitriol of Nahum’s vibe.

The vibe is angry. Seriously very angry

The Vibe of Micah

Micah has bad vibes for the two cities of Samaria and Jerusalem. They have been exploiting the poor, conducting business in a shady, underhand way and pretending to be religious when they are not. It’s an angry vibe and disaster is coming their way as payback for all the bad things they have done to good people.

However, doom gives way to hope (for Jerusalem at least) – good times will come but only after Israel has been laid waste and the people carried away by their enemies.

Micah’s credibility shoots up when he predicts that a deliverer will come out of Bethlehem – Jesus is born in the town 800 years later. However, that is far away in the future and all Micah can do is watch as corruption, cheating and violence stifles Israel.

In the end, Micah’s predictions are on the money for Samaria and Jerusalem: Samaria falls to the Assyrians in 722BC and in 587BC, Jerusalem is laid waste by the Babylonians. However, the vibe isn’t all bleak; Micah looks forward with positive vibes to a time when God will once again keep an orderly house and shepherd his people to safety.

General vibe of Micah: God always has the last word.

Factvibe: Despite laying down vibes worthy of inclusion in the Bible, Micah never left his village in Judah.

Cheating with weights and measures – one of the many vibes raged at righteously by Micah.

The Vibe of Jonah

Jonah has weak vibes. The kind of vibes that ask your mum to write a letter so you don’t have to do PE. God tells Jonah to go to the enemy city of Nineveh and tell the people how wicked they have been. However, Jonah takes a sickie as he’d quite like Nineveh to rot. Besides, God should be looking after Israel, not its enemies.

Jonah runs away to sea but  God sends a storm to shake the vibes up a bit. Jonah’s shipmates smell a rat and, believing the storm is only there because Jonah is on the run from God, they turf him out of the boat.

People in the sea are food for fish and Jonah is no different. He’s swallowed whole by a whale, says his prayers and is spat out on dry land. God sends him to Nineveh again and Jonah doesn’t need asking twice. Happily, the townspeople listen to his vibes of doom, clean their act up and are spared by God.

Jonah whinges that God has spared Israel’s enemy and lurks around to see how things are going to pan out. God makes a shady tree grow over him which Jonah likes, then kills the tree which makes him whinge again. God explains the vibe – Jonah had nothing to do with the tree being there yet is sorry it’s gone, so why can’t God care about a city of 120,000 people and be sorry about completely destroying it? Which seems fair enough.

General vibe of Jonah: God is for everyone.

Factvibe: The episode on the boat is one of the first recorded instances of someone literally drawing the short straw. 

Jonah: a whale of a vibe.

The Vibe of Obadiah

Obadiah has an ‘old scores’ vibe. There’s no love lost between the neighbouring nations of Israel and Edom, so when the Edomites join in the bun fight when Jerusalem is razed to the ground by the Babylonians, Obadiah aims some righteously angry vibes their way. He rages to the Edomites that they looted and plundered at their peril.

Edom is built on an almost impregnable rock and must feel invincible, yet Obadiah’s vibe is that not one of them will survive when the Day of the Lord comes. He’s not wrong, the Day of the Lord comes early for Edom and the nation disappears from the map in around 667BC.

General vibe of Obadiah: Pride comes before a fall.

Factvibe: According to Jewish tradition, Obadiah was rich and helped feed other poorer prophets.

Edom, so thoroughly trounced, it’s vibe no longer has airtime on a modern map of the Middle East

The Vibe of Amos

Amos has an activist’s vibe. Despite the prosperous times in which he is living, Amos sees corruption and scandal all around him and feels he has to speak out.

The rich have fattened themselves at the expense of the poor and have crushed the helpless. God doesn’t want these fat cats to worship him, he wants justice. The Day of the Lord is coming – a day when God will pass judgment on his people. But when he comes, God won’t be crushing Israel’s enemies, he will be crushing Israel. The people might feel invincible but God has seen how they have treated the poor and downtrodden and his vengeance will come.

Amos knows that God’s judgment is on its way and that a marauding army will ravage Israel’s women, kill Israel’s children and seize Israel’s land. The vibe is hardcore – there will be no reprieve. However, for the few good souls who will be left after the slaughter, unimaginable blessings will be coming their way. A woeful, doom laden vibe, but a vibe with a small cherry on the top nonetheless.

General vibe of Amos: Hurt the poor at your peril.

Factvibe: Prior to becoming a prophet, Amos was a shepherd.

Fat cats – public enemy number one in this finger wagging vibe.

The Vibe of Joel

There’s a feisty vibe to Joel. He witnesses a swarm of locusts destroying everything in its path and likens this vibe to ‘the Day of the Lord’. This is the day when the world will be judged by God, found lacking and ultimately annihilated. Quite a heavy vibe in fact, and one which makes for some unpleasant reading.

Having made his point, Joel then reminds us that God is only too willing to rescue us if we turn back to him. If we do this, he’ll pour out his blessings on us in what will be the exact opposite of a locust plague. So the choice is ours – a horrible and violent death or mountains running with fresh wine and hills flowing with milk. A tough one, not.

General vibe of Joel: Judgment is coming.

Factvibe: Joel speaks about the Second Coming without mentioning the first one.

Joel forsees a day when rivers will run with this stuff. Not a bad vibe.