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?
Even though the Jews sinned went against GOD just like us, HE is always faithful as soon as we repent and obey. “The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and MIGHTY is the army that OBEYS HIS COMMAND . The DAY of the LORD is GREAT ; it is DREADFUL . Who can endure it? “Even now,” declares the Lord, “RETURN to ME with ALL your HEART , with FASTING and WEEPING and MOURNING .” REND YOUR HEART and not your garments. RETURN to the LORD your GOD, for he is gracious and compassionate, SLOW to ANGER and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
Joel 2:11-13 NIV
Seeing just how many prophets there were shows me just how many times God spoke to someone closely to send a message to Israel to change so that they would be living in a way pleasing to God. God was persistent in his pursuit of Israel; He just had ways that He wanted them to live by. God wanted to bless his children and warned them many times because he loved them.
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.
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