The Inside Column 16/9

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all!

Today we start a new preaching series on the Minor Prophets. It can be easy for us to read the Old Testament, and think it’s all about an angry God wiping out nations to bring other people into line for the things they do wrong.

It’s tempting to ignore much of the Old Testament and the acts of God in favour of the New Testament where we can more easily see God revealed in Jesus. This is a pity because we can learn a lot from the Old Testament about God’s nature, His love for his chosen people, His mercy and forgiveness. We may even see aspects of ourselves in the  sinful people the Prophets take aim at, although we may not like it. I would encourage you to read through the Minor Prophets as we go through the series as they are not very long books.

Augustine apparently first coined the phrase “minor prophets” in the fifth century A.D. to distinguish them from the “major prophets.” The term “minor” is not used to indicate the unimportance of these books, but merely refer to the length of the writings when compared to the writings of the Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc). Although much shorter than Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, these twelve prophetic books proclaim significant messages and the theological importance of them is by no means minor.

Although there is some variety in the  content of the prophecies of the Minor Prophets, most of the prophecies follow a basic five point pattern.

  • There is a warning of impending judgment because of sinfulness. These  sins often reflect a broken covenant.
  • The prophetic warning is often followed by an identification and description of the sins.
  • Having identified the sins, the prophet then announces and describes coming judgment.
  • Impending judgment is often followed by a call for repentance.
  • The prophet then proclaims a promise of future deliverance or restoration.

 

Yours in Christ

Philip

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