In the Beginning

The Minor Prophets

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While their messages were generally shorter, the last 12 prophets of the Old Testament were anything but minor. Their prophecies spoke of the punishment due Israel and Judah because of their sins, idolatry and unfaithfulness to God. Their prophecies also pointed to God’s great love for Israel and her regathering and blessing under God’s New Covenant in fulfillment of God’s original promise to Abraham. They wrote of the sins and punishments due to Israel’s neighbors and all mankind, especially for their harsh treatment of Israel. They spoke of a great time of trouble when God would gather the nations together for judgment because of this harsh treatment. They describe aspects of, and participants in, this great trouble. They also speak of the blessings of truth, peace and safety that will come to mankind via Christ’s earthly kingdom.

This issue focuses on the messages from the prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah.

The first article, “The Prophet with an Unfaithful Wife,” reviews the book of Hosea and the prophet’s dealings with Gomer, his unfaithful wife. It compares Gomer’s infidelity to that of Israel toward God and also how Hosea’s love for Gomer and God’s great love for Israel would recover each.

“The Punishment and Saving of Israel” examines Joel’s prophecy of the punishment God would bring upon Israel and how He would save and bless her. It examines the role of the Lord’s great army and the gathering of the nations against Israel that we see today.

The third article, “I am a Herdsman,” focuses on the message of Amos, whom God took from following the flock to become a prophet to Israel. Amos details the shortcomings and punishments of Israel and her neighbors, and God’s promise to raise again the tabernacle of David.

“The Punishment of Edom” looks into how Obadiah’s message foretells the fall and destruction of Edom and of Christendom, which Edom pictures.

The next article, “A Prophet Outside of His Comfort Zone,” reviews the book of Jonah, his struggle to accept God’s command to preach a warning to Nineveh, and then grasp God’s mercy toward Nineveh when the city repented.

The final article, “The Poetic Prophet,” looks at the first half of Micah’s prophecy and how its poetry describes God’s judgment and punishment of Israel due to their idolatry.

May the articles of this issue help each of us gain a better appreciation of the lives of these prophets of God, and for their timely, important messages. May God’s dealings with Israel be a sobering reminder for each of us to be faithful to God.

Categories: 2017 Issues, 2017-May/June

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