“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.” – Amos 3:7
One of the most important things that we have seen revealed about our God since the beginning is that He always reveals Himself and His plan. The Bible lets us know that God lets us know! He always lets us in on the plan. The last twelve Books of the Old Testament are known as the minor prophets. These are often overlooked but are a small gems in the treasure chest of God’s Word that bring us some valuable truths about our Father.
Like the bigger, “Major Prophets”, these smaller books pack the same multi-level messages. First, they describe for us the relationship that God has with Israel at that time in history. Then they reveal God’s promise to rescue and redeem His people by sending the Messiah and how they will be able to recognize Him. Thirdly, these prophesies speak into our future with promises concerning the “Day of the Lord” which involves an end to this world and a time of judgement. So, these small Books are more deep than wide. They provide us with strength for our present journey and hope for the future. We will look at the major themes on each of the three levels.
Each of these Books reveals how God deals with sin and people that are involved in it. The message about Sin is consistent with the rest of Scripture…it separates us from God and brings death and destruction. Many of these Books chronicle the specific consequences of such a rebellion against God. They also reveal to us the consistent message about God as Pursuer, Rescuer and Redeemer. He repeatedly calls us to repent and return to Him.
“Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.” – Hosea 14:1
“‘Even now’, declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with morning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the LORD tour God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…” – Joel 2:12, 13
It is also clearly reveals that those who refuse too repent and refuse to return and resist God’s love will suffer judgement. How can we return? God reveals more of the plan of sending the Messiah…the Savior.
“I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?” – Hosea 13:14
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” – Joel 2:32
Details are then provided throughout these Books that help us to identify this Messiah that will “save” us. From the place of His birth (Micah 5:2) to the ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Zech. 9:9) these Prophets point to Jesus! God did not want us to miss it. He made it obvious!
However, not everyone wants a Savior and some prefer taking their chances without God. The Bible says that this is a choice between life and death. Yielding to God and accepting His love and forgiveness results in eternal life. Refusing it results in death and judgement. This brings us to the third layer of prophesy…the day of the LORD. There will come a day when we will be held accountable for the decision that we have made. Just a sure as the first coming of the Messiah was fulfilled, the second coming will also be fulfilled. God has revealed to us His plan. It is specific and it involves an invitation to each of us. This invitation is an invitation to life…abundant life through a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Creator, Sustainer and Savior. These Books of the Bible show us that God is a God who makes promises and keeps them. He is a God that lets us know the plan ahead of time so that we can experience His grace and mercy. He is the God that everyone will have to stand before when He returns. How do I know?
“The Bible tells me so.”