I love reading through the Minor Prophets. If I read my Bible chronologically or Genesis to Revelation, by the time I begin to read the Minor Prophets, I am frustrated with the Israelites and their continued cycle of sin, and maybe slightly tired of stumbling through Hebrew names. The Minor Prophets are packed with convincing truths, beautiful reminders, and growing anticipation.
The first reason I love reading these books is their ability to reveal the sin-cycle in my life. Throughout the Old Testament God’s People seem to fall into a pattern: they receive a blessing from God, they are satisfied, their hearts turn prideful, they forget God, they endure God’s judgements, destruction follow, they remember God, they repent, and they return to the Lord. As this cycle is repeated in these books, I am reminded of how easily I fall into a similar pattern. I am reminded that there are consequences to neglecting God’s Word (Hosea 4:6), and there are consequences for my disobedience (Jonah). I see how easily my pride can deceive me (Obadiah 1:3).
But they not only reveal my sin, they also beautifully display the steadfast love of God. He does not leave Israel in destruction. He pursues Israel, divinely intervenes, and renews Israel again (Hosea 2:14-23). God makes a way of escape from His wrath (Obadiah 1:17). God is always faithful to His covenant. He always takes them back after they repent. The second reason I love reading these books is because they help me to remember God’s grace and mercy in my own life.
The third reason I love the Minor Prophet is the way they build anticipation. The Minor Prophets are the final scene before Jesus enters. The anticipation of the coming Christ is building. Restoration is coming for God’s People (Zephaniah 3:14-20; Micah)! Justice is coming (Nahum 1:3). It also amazes me how detailed some of the prophecies are about Jesus. Zechariah explained that Jesus would come riding a donkey, get betrayed for 30 pieces of silvers, and be pierced for a transgression (9:9, 11:12, 12:10). That is a lot of detail for a book written hundreds of years before Jesus was even born.
The Prophets do a wonderful job portraying God’s love and justice. I always walk away asking God to help me to see Him the way the Prophets saw Him.