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LESSONS FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS Sources consulted include works by: Jeff Smith, Mark Copeland, Clay Gentry, Gene Taylor, Homer Hailey, and Kyle Yates.

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Presentation on theme: "LESSONS FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS Sources consulted include works by: Jeff Smith, Mark Copeland, Clay Gentry, Gene Taylor, Homer Hailey, and Kyle Yates."— Presentation transcript:

1 LESSONS FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS Sources consulted include works by: Jeff Smith, Mark Copeland, Clay Gentry, Gene Taylor, Homer Hailey, and Kyle Yates

2 THE PROPHET Did not always foretell future events Basically means one who speaks for another These men were speaking for God and were given specific messages Their messages did not originate with them, but they were inspired by the Holy Spirit None of them “aspired” to prophesy While they apparently all came from among the Jews, all messages were not directed to the Jews Unfortunately there were false prophets among the people False teachers have arisen through the years and are active even today

3 RECURRING THEMES “Day of the Lord” – impending judgment from God Woe” – most often a warning of punishment for displeasing behavior, regardless of who is guilty “Burden” – God’s prophecy against a nation – even his own God’s promised blessings to the penitent Promises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdom

4 RECURRING THEMES Indictment of the self-serving leaders – priests, prophets, and judges Condemnation of sham religion and shallow worship Condemnation of covetousness Condemnation of idolatry Condemnation of social injustice – brother against brother The remedy: Repent, return to God, redemption God’s promised blessings to the penitent – the faithful “remnant” Promises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdom

5 MINOR PROPHETS Called “minor” only because their books are shorter than those of the other prophets There was nothing minor or unimportant about their messages The Lord intended that the messages he had given should have a major impact upon the audience God’s desire was not simply to condemn but to arouse them to penitence so that calamity could be averted Jehovah is motivated by love for his people and intolerance of evil

6 MINOR PROPHETS Since these prophets spoke to the people of their age – how can we benefit? We are told that what they and others wrote in the past are for our learning and admonition There are practical principles in these messages and they are timeless There are many lessons for us – we will look at some of them

7 JONAH This book tells of a warning of impending doom to the Assyrians but it also contains lessons for us to learn: –God desires to save all men, even the heathen, if they repent 2 Pet. 3:9 –Jehovah is the one true God, the God of all the universe –We cannot run and hide from God and the obligations he places on us Psa. 139:7-11 –Opportunities to serve God’s purposes become obligations – that is why we are here and why we are what we are Perhaps our efforts will cause change

8 JOEL The very essence of Joel’s message is: repentance. The repeated warnings of God to repent do not signal Jehovah’s toleration of sin God is absolute sovereign over all peoples. He judges them for their wickedness. Just as Joel warns God’s people then, so we must be conscious of his judgment Disasters, natural and man-made usually cause a heightened awareness of our need for God We have The promise of the Holy Spirit which began to be fulfilled in acts 2

9 AMOS God will not tolerate sin even among the politically powerful While he is not hasty in bringing judgment, he does not warn endlessly Those whom God has favored have a great responsibility God expects social justice, not the “dog-eat-dog” mentality Hollow and insincere worship is an insult to God, even if the actions are correct Physical comforts must be carefully tempered with an awareness of what is really important

10 HOSEA GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE... –He loves His people Like a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer) Like a father loves his child –Because He loves His people... He blesses them abundantly He nurtures them patiently GOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS... –He expects His people to know His will –He expects His people to avoid harmful influences –He expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickedness GOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE... –He cannot let sin go unpunished –Those who remain in sin He will devour –GOD IS A GOD OF MERCY... –He call upon His people to repent –He will gladly heal those who do so

11 MICAH A prevalent sin is that of ingratitude – then and now How can we know about what God has done for us and not be appreciative? We owe him our very existence - (Acts 17:25) Micah tells us about the nature of God... (Micah 7:18-20) Prophecies we know that have been fulfilled – this should bolster our faith and confidence in the Lord The birthplace of the coming Messiah is foretold (Micah 5:2) The establishment of the kingdom of the Lord is also foretold The kingdom of peace is promised. Very similar to the prophecy of Isaiah 2. The latter or last days was the time frame for the coming kingdom, which Joel shows to be time of Acts 2, as indicated by Peter when he said, “this is that…” (Micah 4:1-2) These prophecies, spoken to the Jews are intended for us as well (1Peter 1:12) We learn about the essence of pleasing God (Mic 6:6-8) Let us do what God requires of us, as expressed in Micah’s words: “ do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6:8)

12 NAHUM Once saved not always saved Nahum presents both the severity and the goodness of God Sin is always serious Jehovah never tolerates sin - and punishment of the impenitent is inevitable He is longsuffering and patient, but there is a limit The time for action is always now for doom awaits those who delay Jehovah’s judgment is always just – never capricious He will judge us personally

13 ZEPHANIAH The word of God must be proclaimed with boldness Only the God of heaven is in a position to identify the problem and give the proper remedy for the woeful conditions The Day of the Lord would bring certain judgment upon the evil doers God demands repentance and real change Worthwhile change will take place in the heart Ungodliness would be punished but there would be the redeemed remnant –Composed of people who repented of sins and put their faith and trust back in God and His will For them, –This day would not be a day of doom for them, but a day of deliverance. –This ultimate deliverance would be found in the reign of the Messiah –Though Zephaniah never mentions or describes the Messiah Himself, the other prophets make clear that this redemptive work was ultimately fulfilled through Christ.

14 HABAKKUK God always sees the “big picture” –We may sometimes question why evil and ungodliness seem to go unnoticed and unchecked by the Lord –We may feel that retribution for such is long overdue – why does God not “do something?” –He knows what is going on in the world and in our lives and he cares –He tells us it is his prerogative to deal with things in his own way in his own time Our job is to trust him and recognize that our souls’ survival depends upon our acceptance of his will and wisdom As the Psalmist recommends – let us “wait on the lord”

15 OBADIAH Pride is self-deceptive and self- destructive Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap Neutrality is the same as opposing God Those who trust in God will ultimately be victorious

16 HAGGAI Complacency delays obedience The right time to do God’s will is now Selfish interests must not overshadow our responsibilities to God Preaching should be filled with “thus saith the Lord,” The hearts of “the remnant” can be stirred to action by the Lord through his word What great lessons in this short book!

17 Zechariah Return to me and I will return to you “I am zealous for zion” – as he was then so he is now “zealous” = “jealous” Sometimes we need a “boost” to get us going we need encouragement

18 MALACHI Self examination is necessary to determine true character –God made statements concerning their true character –Their questions revealed their inability to see themselves as they really were, but the Lord’s response made the facts plain –Note that we are to examine ourselves God’s love should never be doubted God’s covenant is to be remembered and respected God’s name is to be reverenced God’s service is never trivial or meaningless we may rob god of the service he rightfully deserves but Faithful service brings great blessings – Divorce is hated by God The Messenger and his forerunner promised

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