The Minor prophets, so called, not because their message is by any means inferior to those of the major prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Daniel, but rather because their message is much smaller than the major prophets.
• Obadiah: Prophesied of Edom
• Joel: Date uncertain
• Jonah: God’s attitude to Gentiles
• Hosea: Israel’s Unfaithfulness
• Amos: Social Injustice
• Isaiah: To Judah
• Micah: To Judah and Israel
• Nahum: Judgment against Nineveh
• Zephaniah: Day of the Lord against Judah
• Habakkuk: Prayer
• Jeremiah: “The Weeping Prophet”
• Daniel: Historical Narrative and Prophetic Visions
• Ezekiel: Common Captivity
• Without exception, God’s prophets were commanded to speak by God, and the message was often two-fold. It often had an immediate fulfillment and a longer term fulfillment that would be fulfilled at the time of Christ or the 2nd coming of Christ when he would return for judgment.
• Joel? - The Day of the Lord and Ultimate Restoration
• Haggai: Encouragement to rebuild the Temple
• Zechariah: Visions of God’s Working in History
• Malachi: A call to faithfulness
• 约珥？- 主的日子和最后的赦免
• All the Old Testament Prophets not only knew God’s promise of a Savior by faith, but they also predicted his coming and fulfilling of God’s plan of salvation, which is why Jesus continually pointed his followers back to the words of the prophets during his ministry. Read the following…
Luke 24:25-27 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
路24:25-27—-25耶稣对他们说：“无知的人哪，先知所说的一切话，你们的心，信得太迟钝了。 26基督这样受害，又进入他的荣耀，岂不是应当的么？” 27于是从摩西和众先知起，凡经上所指着自己的话，都给他们讲解明白了。
Date —— 840-830 B.C.
Meaning of the name Obadiah—— Worshipper of the LORD
Theme of the Book—— Day of the LORD; Destruction of Edom; Israel’s restoration
Gave prophecies To/About—— Against Edom
Major sins ——Edom had continual violence toward Jacob. Edom rejoiced when Judah was taken captive.
Identify Judah and Edom on the map
Obadiah 1:3-4 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ “Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.
Why did the people of Edom think they were so secure? What does the picture show about their ancient dwelling place?
Lessons from Obadiah
• God cares for his people when they suffer.
• God warns but will eventually judge those who persecute his people.
• God will give victory to his people.
• God’s faithful people will inherit the kingdom of God in its fullness.
The book of Joel
Date —— (See notes below)
Meaning of the name Joel —— The LORD is God
Theme of the Book —— Day of the LORD
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Israel/Northern Kingdom
Major sins —— Adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, wild living
• Date of Joel’s Prophecy remains uncertain. There seem to be two main arguments used for later dates of Joel as well as earlier dates of Joel. Both positions for the early date and later date are shown in the chart below…
|Before the Babylonian Captivity – before 586B.C.巴比伦掳掠前——公元前586年以前||After the Babylonian Captivity – after 586 B.C.巴比伦掳掠后——公元前586年之后|
|No mention of Jerusalem being destroyed and rebuilt in this prophecy||Israel is spoken of as being “Scattered among the nations” (3:2).|
|The mention of the “northern army” seems to point to Assyria or it could even be pointing to Babylon as a present threat (2:20)||Reference to the inhabitants of Judah being sold to the “sons of Javin” – Greeks (3:6)|
|There are several references to the temple (1:14)||Edom is described as having done “violence to the sons of Judah” (3:19)|
|Kings, priests, and elders are seen as the leaders of the nation before captivity, and yet there is no mention of any of them.|
Joel chapter 1 - Locusts eat all the plants in Israel
约珥书 第1 章——蝗虫吃尽以色列所有的植物
Joel 1:2-5 Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten. Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips.
约珥书（珥）1：2-5—-2老年人哪，当听我的话！国中的居民哪，都要侧耳而听！在你们的日子，或你们列祖的日子，曾有这样的事吗？ 3你们要将这事传与子，子传与孙，孙传与后代。 4剪虫剩下的，蝗虫来吃。蝗虫剩下的，蝻子来吃。蝻子剩下的，蚂蚱来吃。 5酒醉的人哪，要清醒哭泣。好酒的人哪，都要为甜酒哀号。因为从你们的口中断绝了。
• Joel wants everyone to think carefully about his message because it’s God’s message.
• Joel wants people who have drunk too much wine to wake up. He wants them to listen to the message, too. He wants the farmers to understand why bad things are happening. (Look at verse 11.)
• Joel wants the *priests to wake up. And he wants them to call the people back to God. (Look at verses 13 and 14)
珥1:13-14—-祭司啊，你们当腰束麻布痛哭；伺候祭坛的啊，你们要哀号；事奉我神的啊，你们要来披上麻布过夜；因为素祭和奠祭从你们神的殿中断绝了。 14 你们要分定禁食的日子，宣告严肃会，招聚长老，和国中的一切居民，到耶和华你们神的殿，向耶和华哀求。
The best way a person can avoid hearing the message that God has for us today is to avoid his Word and not be guided by his message.
Joel Chapter Two – An Army of Locusts
Joel 2:1-3 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand-a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the Garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste— nothing escapes them.
约珥书2:1-3—-1你们要在锡安吹角，在我圣山吹出大声。国中的居民，都要发颤。因为耶和华的日子将到，已经临近。 2那日是黑暗，幽冥，密云，乌黑的日子，好像晨光铺满山岭。有一队蝗虫作民又大又强。从来没有这样的，以后直到万代，也必没有。 3他们前面如火烧灭，后面如火焰烧尽。未到以前，地如伊甸园，过去以后，成了荒凉的旷野。没有一样能躲避他们的。
• It would appear that Joel is transitioning in his prophecy from actual locusts to actual people who were going to come in and bring judgment upon Israel. Read further…
Joel 2:4-6 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.
约珥书2:4-6—-4他们的行状如马，奔跑如马兵。 5在山顶蹦跳的响声，如车辆的响声， 又如火焰烧碎秸的响声，好像强盛的民摆阵预备打仗。 6他们一来，众民伤恸，脸都变色。
(2:14-16) What was the Lord still willing to do?
(2:18-21) what would the Lord’s answer be to their repentant hearts?
珥 (2:18-21)—-18耶和华就为自己的地发热心，怜恤他的百姓。 19耶和华应允他的百姓说：“我必赐给你们五谷、新酒和油，使你们饱足；我也不再使你们受列国的羞辱，20却要使北方来的军队远离你们，将他们赶到干旱荒废之地，前队赶入东海，后队赶入西海。因为他们所行的大恶（原文是事），臭气上升，腥味腾空。” 21“地土啊，不要惧怕，要欢喜快乐。因为耶和华行了大事。
What lesson is there for us, today? Is it ever too late for God’s children to turn back to him?
(2:28-32) When did these words of Joel receive partial fulfilment? When will these words reach their final fulfilment?
珥（2:28—32）—-28以后，我要将我的灵浇灌凡有血气的。你们的儿女要说预言。你们的老年人要作异梦。少年人要见异象。29在那些日子，我要将我的灵浇灌我的仆人和使女。30在天上地下，我要显出奇事，有血有火，有烟柱。 31日头要变为黑暗，月亮要变为血，这都是耶和华大而可畏的日子未到以前。 32那时候，凡求告耶和华名的就必得救。因为照耶和华所说的，在锡安山耶路撒冷必有逃脱的人，在剩下的人中必有耶和华所召的。”
Joel Chapter Three
(3:16-18) The Lord will once again do good things for Israel. Again, we see judgment at the beginning of the book for sin; then we see restoration promised towards the end of the book, a similar pattern we see throughout many of the Old Testament books of prophecy. This is nothing more than Law and Gospel – condemnation against Sin and yet in the midst of that condemnation – God holds his arm out to his people to restore them through the promise of the Savior.
珥 (3:16-18)—-16耶和华必从锡安吼叫，从耶路撒冷发声。天地就震动。耶和华却要作他百姓的避难所，作以色列人的保障。 17你们就知道我是耶和华你们的神，且又住在锡安我的圣山。那时，耶路撒冷必成为圣，外邦人不再从其中经过。 18到那日，大山要滴甜酒。小山要流奶子，犹大溪河都有水流。必有泉源从耶和华的殿中流出来，滋润什亭谷。 神将再次向以色列人施慈爱。我们在本书的开头再次看到罪带来的审判，然后在接近尾声时看到了救赎的应许，这是整个旧约中很多预言的类似模式。这也就是律法与福音——神审判罪恶，但在审判期间，神又向他的子民伸出膀臂，透过应许的救主救赎他们。
(3:20,21) When will this reach final fulfilment?
The book of Jonah
Date —— 780-740 B.C.
Meaning of the name Jonah —— Dove
Theme of the Book —— God’s mercy to all nations, including Nineveh
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Nineveh
Major sins —— cruelty of the Assyrians
Jonah 1:1,2 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
约拿书1:1-2—-1耶和华的话临到亚米太的儿子 约拿，说：“2你起来往尼尼微 大城去，向其中的居民呼喊。 因为他们的恶达到我面前。“
• Identify Joppa, Tarshish, and Nineveh on the map.
(1:17) How did Jesus use this actual event as proof for his own ministry?
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jonah 4:1-2 Why was Jonah so distressed that God spared Nineveh of its destruction?
Jonah 4:5-7 A pretty abrupt way to end a book. What was the point that Jonah was to take away from this event?
拿4:5-7—-5于是约拿出城，坐在城的东边，在那里为自己搭了一座棚，坐在棚的荫下，要看看那城究竟如何。 6耶和华神安排一棵蓖麻，使其发生高过约拿，影儿遮盖他的头，救他脱离苦楚。约拿因这棵蓖麻大大喜乐。 7次日黎明，神却安排一条虫子咬这蓖麻，以致枯槁。
The book of Hosea
Date —— 765-725 B.C.
Meaning of the name Hosea —— Salvation
Theme of the Book —— Judgment/Redemption
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Israel/Northern Kingdom
Major sins —— Adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, wild living
• The book of Hosea is a very graphic description of God’s heart, both how it was broken by Israel’s unfaithfulness to him, and his willingness to forgive and restore his people. God depicts his heart by commanding his servant, Hosea, to marry a prostitute, named Gomer. God’s love for his people, despite their wayward hearts, sought to restore them. For this book is yet another reminder to Israel, and therefore us today, that God longs to have a relationship with us through Jesus and the promises of forgiveness that he grants through the work of Jesus.
Let’s connect this amazing prophecy with Jesus and the New Testament church…
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Matthew 12:1-7 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread–which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
太12:1-7—-1那时，耶稣在安息日，从麦地经过。他的门徒饿了，就掐起麦穗来吃。 2法利赛人看见，就对耶稣说：“看哪，你的门徒作安息日不可作的事了。” 3耶稣对他们说：“经上记着大卫和跟从他的人肌饿之时所作的事，你们没有念过吗？4他怎么进了神的殿，吃了陈设饼，这饼不是他和跟从他的人可以吃的，惟独祭司才可以吃。5再者，律法上所记的，当安息日，祭司在殿里犯了安息日，还是没有罪，你们没有念过吗？6但我告诉你们，在这里有一人比殿更大。7我喜爱怜恤，不喜爱祭祀。你们若明白这话的意思，就不将无罪的，当作有罪的了。
How did Jesus apply these words of Hosea to his ministry with the religious leaders of his day?
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
Matthew 2:13-15 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
太2:13-15—-13他们去后，有主的使者向约瑟梦中显现，说：“起来！ 带着小孩子同他母亲，逃往埃及，住在那里，等我吩咐你。 因为希律必寻梢小孩子要除灭他。” 14约瑟就起来，夜间带着小孩子和他母亲往埃及去。 15住在那里，直到希律死了。这是要应验主藉着先知所说的话，说：“我从埃及召出我的儿子来。”
Do you think Mary and Joseph understood that they were fulfilling Old Testament prophecy by taking their son to Egypt?
Hosea 13:14 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? "
1 Corinthians 15:54-58 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
林前15:54—58—-54这必朽坏的既变成不朽坏，这必死的既变成不死的，那时经上所记“死被得胜吞灭”的话就应验了。 55死啊，你得胜的权势在哪里？死啊，你的毒钩在哪里？ 56死的毒钩就是罪，罪的权势就是律法。 57感谢神，使我们藉着我们的主耶稣基督得胜。 58所以我亲爱的弟兄们，你们务要坚固不可摇动，常常竭力多作主工，因为知道你们的劳苦，在主里面不是徒然的。
How does the apostle Paul apply these words of Hosea in his writings to the Christians at Corinth?
The book of Amos
Date —— 760 B.C.
Meaning of the name Amos —— Burden bearer
Theme of the Book —— The Day of the Lord will roar
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Israel, Judah, and Benjamin
Major sins —— Oppression of the poor; Sexual immorality; corruption of law; excessive luxury
Connecting Old Testament prophecy with the New Testament
Amos 5:25-27 “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? 26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god– which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.
摩5:25-27—-25 “以色列家啊，你们在旷野四十年，岂是将祭物和供物献给我呢？ 26 你们抬着为自己所造之摩洛的帐幕，和偶像的龛，并你们的神星。 27 所以我要把你们掳到大马色以外。”这是耶和华，名为万军之神说的。
Acts 7:40-43 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt–we don’t know what has happened to him!’ 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? 43 You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.
徒7:40-43—-40 对亚伦说：‘你且为我们造些神像，在我们前面引路；因为领我们出埃及地的那个摩西，我们不知道他遭了什么事。’ 41 那时，他们造了一个牛犊，又拿祭物献给那像，欢喜自己手中的工作。 42 神就转脸不顾，任凭他们事奉天上的日月星辰，正如先知书上所写的说：‘以色列家啊，你们四十年间在旷野，岂是将牺牲和祭物献给我吗？ 43 你们抬着摩洛的帐幕，和理番神的星。就是你们所造为要敬拜的像。因此，我要把你们迁到巴比伦外去。’
How did Stephen, in his sermon to the Jewish people, apply the words of Amos to the people of his day?
Amos 9:11,12 “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.
摩9：11-12—-11“ 到那日，我必建立大卫倒塌的帐幕，堵住其中的破口，把那破坏的建立起来，重新修造，像古时一样。 12 使以色列人得以东所余剩的，和所有称为我名下的国。”此乃行这事的耶和华说的。
Acts 15:14-19 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 " ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ 18 that have been known for ages. 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
徒15:14-19—-14 方才西门述说神当初怎样眷顾外邦人，从他们中间选取百姓归于自己的名下 15 众先知的话，也与这意思相合。 16 正如经上所写的：‘此后，我要回来，重新修造大卫倒塌的帐幕，把那破坏的，重新修造建立起来。 17 叫余剩的人，就是凡称为我名下的外邦人，都寻求主。 18 这话是从创世以来，显明这事的主说的。’ 19 所以据我的意见，不可难为那归服神的外邦人。
How did James and Peter use the prophecy of Amos to win the hearts of Jewish Christians at the council in Jerusalem who were arguing about Jews and Gentiles being welcomed into the same Christian church?
The book of Micah
Date —— 740-700 B.C.
Meaning of the name Micah —— Who is like the LORD
Theme of the Book —— God is the just Judge
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Samaria and Jerusalem
Major sins —— Oppression and injustice
Connecting Old Testament prophecy with the New Testament
Micah 7:6 For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law– a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.
Matthew 10:36-38 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
太10:36-38—-36 人的仇敌，就是自己家里的人。 37 爱父母过于爱我的，不配作我的门徒；爱儿女过于爱我的，不配作我的门徒； 38 不背着他的十字架跟从我的，也不配作我的门徒。
How did Jesus apply these words of Micah in the gospel of Matthew?
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. "
Matthew 2:6 " ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ "
The book of Nahum
Date —— 640-620 B.C.
Meaning of the name Nahum —— Consolation
Theme of the Book —— Judgment on Nineveh; Comfort for Israel
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Assyrians (primarily Nineveh)
Major sins —— Cruelty of the Assyrians
**Connecting Old Testament prophecy with the New Testament **
Nahum 1:15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
Romans 10:13-15 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
罗10:13-15—-13 因为凡求告主名的，就必得救。 14 然而人未曾信他，怎能求他呢？未曾听见他，怎能信他呢？没有传道的，怎能听见呢？ 15 若没有奉差遣，怎能传道呢？如经上所记：“报福音传喜信的人，他们的脚踪何等佳美！”
The book of Zephaniah
Date —— 640-609 B.C.
Meaning of the name Zephaniah —— Hidden by the LORD
Theme of the Book —— Who may be hidden from the LORD
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Judah, Jerusalem, all Israel – warning all people of the Day of the LORD
Major sins —— spiritual fornication
The book of Habakkuk
Date —— 608-605 B.C.
Meaning of the name Habakkuk —— Embrace
Theme of the Book —— God embraces Judah by destroying the Babylonians
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Babylon
Major sins —— Aggression, plunder, greed, inhumanity and idolatry
The book of Haggai
Date 520 B.C.
Meaning of the name Haggai Festival
Theme of the Book God’s restoration of the temple points to Jesus when God will restore his people through his work on the cross.
Gave Prophecies To/About Zerubbabel, Joshua and the exiles who returned to Judah
Major sins Neglect in building God’s house while the people built for themselves first; procrastination.
The book of Zechariah
Date —— 520-480 B.C.
Meaning of the name Zechariah —— Remembered by the LORD
Theme of the Book —— The LORD encourages his people who felt defeated by their enemies
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Zerubbabel, Joshua and the exiles who returned to Judah
Major sins —— Joshua had filthy garments. Lack of Judgment, mercy, and peace. Living in evil ways.
The book of Malachi
Date —— 420-400 B.C.
Meaning of the name Malachi —— My Messenger
Theme of the Book —— Be prepared for the messenger to come in the form of Elijah (John the Baptist)
Gave Prophecies To/About —— Israel
Major sins —— Priests neglecting duties. People chided for divorce, adultery, robbing God with their offerings.
God’s prophets had a continuous message for both God’s people and the people of this world and that is this – a time of Judgment comes for all and therefore the time to repent of sin is now. Now is the time to receive God’s mercy and his grace through the promise he gave to this world through Jesus Christ. This is a message that also sums up the entire Bible and ought to be a summary of each minister’s work today. Sin is serious business because we all have dared to transgress God’s moral line by our actions and inactions in life. Let us repent of sin, and turn to his mercy that he grants us through faith in Jesus Christ. For God desires to be merciful to us, which is why he gave us Jesus! Let us humbly accept his gift and live our lives each day in the confidence of our forgiveness and salvation that he grants to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2