Why Should I Read the Minor Prophets?
By Nathan Jones
Do you also have one of those tiny attic doors in your house? If you do, and you’re like me, you don’t go through them very much, if ever. And for good reason!
What are the words that come to mind with attics such as these? Strange. Little. Unimportant. Unused. Dusty.
Did you know the Bible also has an attic? It’s a section of the Old Testament few people ever visit, because like an attic, it’s also considered strange, little, unimportant, unused and dusty. What I am referring to is the section of the Bible called the Minor Prophets.
Why Should I Read the Minor Prophets?
Most people just don’t know who the Minor Prophets are. And they’re really missing out! Why?
Well, because these ancient messengers of God have a lot they can teach us today about faith — “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Meet & Greet
Before we get into why faith is so vital to your life, let’s meet the Minor Prophets.
Hosea was God’s faithful messenger whose heart was shattered by his unfaithful wife. But, just like God’s unconditional love for Israel, Hosea demonstrated that same love by buying his cheating wife back out of slavery.
When the people of Judah faced starvation due to the devastating loss of their crops from, of all things — a locust invasion, Joel had the difficult duty of explaining the reason behind God’s tough love.
The rugged old farmer, Amos, was dragged out of town by an angry mob for warning Israel that God’s judgment wasn’t just for their evil neighbors, but for them, too, when they acted just as bad.
Obadiah, the mystery man, reminded the plundered residents of Jerusalem that God hadn’t forgotten them. God would punish their attackers and reverse Israel’s misfortunes.
A whale of a tale! When God ordered Jonah to bring His message to Jonah’s enemies in Nineveh, the prophet just wasn’t feeling it, and so ran the other way. Three days in a giant fish’s belly can change a person’s mind, and Nineveh was saved.
God’s lawyer, Micah, took the mobster king of Judah to court! When human government has failed, Micah reminded us that God’s Kingdom still reigns.
Nahum prophesied great news — total victory — for the Jewish people over their oppressors! God’s people were reminded that they can rejoice in God’s certain victory.
God’s faithful musician sure was one confused messenger when he attempted to understand God’s memo. The perplexed prophet’s prayers were about to get answered, and in a big way!
The nervous nobleman faced down peer pressure, risking his very life to present God’s message to good King Josiah, whose bravery resulted in changing the direction of an entire nation.
The aged prophet returned home after a lifetime in exile, only to discover God’s people were guilty of living under the burden of unfulfilled dreams. It was time to trust God and put Him first!
A young boy grew up to become the prophet of future hope! Zechariah joined Haggai in motivating the people to rebuild God’s home, and marveled at wondrous visions of the coming Messiah.
Facing down an unruly crowd of half–hearted devotees, Malachi, the Temple priest, stared down a mob of rebellious questioners and set them straight about what loving God truly means.
Faith & Trust
The 12 Minor Prophets may have only been called minor because their books were short, but they were major when it came to overcoming great challenges to their faith. They had to deal with the same challenges that we all face each and every day. But, these men persevered because the source of their strength sprung up not from themselves, but from our Heavenly Father. They trusted in God because they’d experienced God’s own faithfulness firsthand, and that helped them grow deeper in their relationship with Him.
That’s why reading the Minor Prophets is so vital to our lives, because their life stories can teach us how to build a confidence and trust in God. If you wish to advance your faith in Jesus, then make the Minor Prophets an essential part of your study of the Bible. You, too, can have great faith!