The 12 Minor Prophets will have major impact on our day.
Much of their prophecies are dual,
with an initial fulfillment and also end-time fulfillment.
Five of the Minor Prophets make pronouncements about the Day of the Lord
which doesn’t seem that far away.
Why pay close attention to the Minor Prophets?
“Now all these things happened to them as examples,
and they were written for our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11).
The difference between the 12 Minor Prophets and major prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel has nothing to do with lowering the third. They are called minor because they are shorter in length, ranging from one to 14 chapters. Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament.
The 12 Minor Prophets were pretty much ordinary men called by God to prophesy, and that should encourage us in trying to serve the Great God. One exception was Zephaniah, a prince of the royal house of Judah, a descendant of Hezekiah.
And Jewish tradition says Jonah was the son of the Shunammite woman whom Elisha raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:35) and a statesman under Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25). None of the Minor Prophets were trained in seminary or a school of the prophets, though Jonah may have been a disciple of Elisha.
In many cases not much is known about them except their name. Hosea=”Salvation”; Joel=”Jehovah is my God”; Amos=”Burden”; Obadiah=”Servant of Jehovah”; Jonah=”Dove”; Micah=”Who is like the Lord?”; Nahum=”Comfort”; Habakkuk=”Embrace”; Zephaniah=”The Lord hides”; Haggai=”My feast”; Zechariah=”Jehovah remembers”; and Malachi=”My messenger.”
Imagine for interest that God chooses you to write a book of the Bible. What would your name mean? Would it be a name perfectly appropriate for the book and its message? Did God find somebody with the right name and make him an author? Or see to it that the author He wanted was given the right name? How incredible and miraculous is it that “All scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16)!
Chronology of the Minor Prophets (roughly 400 year period with dates that various sources disagree about, but below seems to be the concensus)
To Israel: Amos (763-750 BC) and Hosea (755-715 BC)
To Judah: Micah: (737-690 BC)
To Ninevah: Jonah (770-750 BC)
To Judah: Haabakkuk (630-605 BC) and Zephaniah (640-609 BC)
To Ninevah: Nahum (663-615 BC)
To Judah: Haggai (520 BC), Zechariah (520-518 BC), Joel (835-796 BC) and Malachi (433 BC)
Jesus verified the right order of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44: Law of Moses (Torah=instruction, teaching), the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Psalms (Ketuvim=writings). The 12 Minor Prophets are considered one book and the last of the Nevi’im in the Hebrew Old Testament.
The Minor Prophets involved three major falls: Jerusalem to the Babylonians (586 BC), Israel to the Assyrians (722 BC) and Ninevah to the Medes and Babylonians (612 BC).
The Minor Prophets, especially Amos and Haggai, called people out for loving prosperity and pleasure instead of being rich toward God and obeying Him. How true of our day!
The Minor Prophets proclaim judgment for sin, the reason why all great empires have fallen.
God’s judgment is never in hot haste; He always gives patient time to repent. Nahum followed up about 150 years after Ninevah, after Jonah’s warning, fasted and repented from the king on down to the animals.
Main Message of Each Minor Prophet:
Joel: Day of the Lord
Amos: Call to return, arouse people to the danger
Obadiah: Righteous judgment—Day of the Lord
Jonah: God’s grace to all people
Micah: Divine judgment
Nahum: Consolation—Day of the Lord
Habakkuk: Submission to God’s plan & timing—trusting a sovereign God
Zephaniah: Restoration of remnant—Day of the Lord
Haggai: Rebuilding temple
Zachariah: God’s deliverance—Day of the Lord
Malachi: Purification to come
So five of the 12 Minor Prophets (Joel, Obadiah, Nahum, Zephaniah and Zachariah) directly address the Day of the Lord!
Powerful themes of the Minor Prophets:
♥ National punishment for idolatry, rebellion and neglect (Amos, Haggai)
♥ Glorious future in the Kingdom on earth (Hosea, Joel, Zephaniah)
♥ Revive Israel and Judah (Hosea)—wake up, arouse, stir to action!
♥ Repentance, restoration and salvation
♥ Pour out Holy Spirit on all flesh (Joel)
♥ Rugged frankness in delivering message, even before kings
♥ God sets up kingdoms & brings down—can’t withstand God—God’s sovereignty
♥ God’s faithfulness, mercy, unfailing love (Hosea, Jonah)
♥ Social justice (Amos)
♥ Faith (Habukkah)
♥ Priorities (Haggai)
♥ Israel’s unfaithfulness (Malachi)
With the above overview of the Minor Prophets, it would really help you to study these
One-hour video presentations
So far four of the 12 Minor Prophets have been presented. Great programs! So much so that I plan to go watch them over again after having prepared this overview background material. Now I can appreciate them even more!
Hosea: A Tragic but Hopeful Love Story
Amos: Ancient Message for a Modern World
Haggai: Straight Talk to the Church of God
The message for us today
The time is now! Repent! Return! Recognize the danger and act now to submit to God, obey and build our personal relationship with Him.
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