As we unpack the minor prophets today, don’t think they are not as important or as good as the major prophets! The only thing separating a minor prophet from a major prophet is that a major prophet simply means there was more content recorded from their lives and prophecies. That being said, let’s take a look at an overview of the minor prophets:
The Minor Prophets
Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before.
Hosea, a contemporary of Isaiah, lived around 755–715 BC. Hosea’s personal life was closely connected to his prophetic message. His marriage to an unfaithful wife represented Israel’s unfaithfulness to God.
Scholars have had much trouble identifying the time period in which the book was written. Joel prophesied judgment on Judah and predicted, in detail, the still-to-come day of the Lord.
A shepherd from Tekoa in the southern kingdom, Amos prophesied against a prideful Israel (northern kingdom). The nation looked out for its own interests and refused to take care of the poor and oppressed. Because of their failure to uphold God’s justice, he pronounced judgment on them.
Obadiah is one of the few books primarily concerned with judgment on other nations outside of Israel. In the shortest book of the Old Testament, Obadiah prophesied punishment on the kingdom of Edom because of the way it treated the Israelites.
A reluctant Jonah delivered a message of judgment to the people of Nineveh. As Jonah suspected, the people repented and God spared the city, angering Jonah. He wanted to see God’s wrath on his nation’s enemies. At the end of the book, God reminded Jonah that he could have mercy on whomever he chose.
A contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea, Micah prophesied under the kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Micah’s prophecies also predicted the place of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and the details of Jesus’s kingdom after his return (Micah 4:2).
Nahum prophesied during the reign of the Manasseh, a wicked king of Judah, likely between 663 and 654 BC. His message was directed against Nineveh, the nation that God sent Jonah to years earlier. Because the nation had returned to its sin, Nahum predicted God’s inevitable judgment on them.
Habakkuk prophesied around the beginning of king Jehoiakim’s reign (609–598 BC). The book records a conversation between the prophet and God. The prophet saw all of the evil occurring in Judah and wondered why God seemed to allow the unjust to remain unpunished. However, God answered and declared that punishment was coming in his time. Soon after, Babylon ransacked the nation of Judah.
Zephaniah, great-great grandson of Hezekiah, prophesied during the rule of Josiah from 640 to 609 BC. Like Joel, Zephaniah predicted, in detail, the coming day of the Lord that would eventually bring restoration of God’s glory to his people.
Haggai and Zechariah
Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries and their messages concerned the rebuilding of the temple under the guidance of Zerubbabel, a government official of royal lineage. As the people rebuilt the temple, God promised current and future blessings.
By the time of Malachi’s prophecies, the temple had been rebuilt but Judah’s spiritual appetite was lacking. Through Malachi, God called his people to return to faithfully serving him.
Watch Week Four
Old Testament: Major and Minor Prophets
The minor prophets often detail God’s warning of judgment. Still, how do you think they can help us to see God’s love for his people and his desire to be near us?
The minor Prophets show God’s patience and love for His people as He provides the opportunity over and over for them, us, to change their ways and seek Him. He does not give up. How great is His love that He should have such mercy and patience for those He chooses. He has sent many messengers of judgement to warn His people throughout the Bible and time…His love never gives up on us. We can follow His pursuit of His people in His Word. It is timeless.
I’m in awe of God’s great love for us. In Jonah, he tells us the people were given a message of judgement.
The people repented and God spared them, as he has throughout history. The Minor Prophets show us how often God’s people turned away from His ways. Yet God pursued them. He wanted his people to come back, repent.
His love is so great, he continues to come after us and wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. It’s hard to
imagine that great a love when we can often dismiss someone from our life because they did something we didn’t like or felt wronged.
The minor prophets help us to see that God has unconditional love for us and wants good things for our today and our future. These books also speak to the storyline of the rescue. God continues to chase after us and fight for us even when we don’t deserve it. He is willing to do anything to save us and these scriptures remind us of this truth.
He just wants a loving relationship with us. It’s like how we are to guide our children. We expect them to obey us because we know what’s best for them and we want them to grow to be upright adults. When they willingly disobey, we punish them to help them get back on track. It’s all because we love them. If they rebel repeatedly, it hurts our hearts just as it does God’s if we (His children) rebel.
If He allowed us to disobey and head in the wrong direction, He wouldn’t really love us. His judgment is a form of love to keep us from harm and to lead us to a place of peace. He promises that yes there will be judgment, but there will also be redemption and restoration. Because He loves us, He won’t just leave us in judgement.
Somewhere in the Word there is a reference of God being slow to anger…and I think you see here over and again, whether with His children or even the people of Nineveh, God’s desire is for our best and primarily that includes intimacy with Him. He forgives our many stumbles and even when judgment comes, there is also redemption and restoration for those who are willing. For me, it is a beautiful picture of a loving parent towards His little girl [me] as well as all of His children.
He used others to warn the people of what what coming and He also showed them His mercy. He showed them even thought they acted against HIm there was still good He had to give them.
He uses PEOPLE, just like everyone else to communicate these important messages through. He also is for lack of a better term "giving them a heads up" on what’s to come.. it’s not like He’s trying to punish us for no reason. He wants us to wake up and turn back to him during all of it.
The fact that God continually sent prophets to warm the people tells me He loved them enough to chastise and correct them. He wanted them to turn back to Him but often they refused and as a result there we’re consequences.
The Prophets brought warnings of judgement. Don’t glaze over this important detail. God is loving but he is a jealous God. If we place our desires above God’s, we are a minute (God’s time) away from correction or punishment. God desires connection that is why he created us.
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