It takes a whole Bible to produce a whole Christian.
It takes preaching the whole Bible to make a whole preacher.
Minor: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Minor to the brevity of their message. Yet, the message was major.
Common Thread through the preaching of the Minor Prophets
Sovereignty of God
Supreme authority over nations:
- Joel: locust infestation
- Nahum: Ninevah destruction
- Jonah: Ninevah repentance
- Invasion of Israel
- Invasion of Judah
- Famine of hearing the word of God
Holiness of God
- strong denunciation of sin oppose to the flawlessness and perfection of God
Hosea 11:9 (CSB) I will not vent the full fury of my anger; I will not turn back to destroy Ephraim. For I am God and not man, the Holy One among you; I will not come in rage.
Habakkuk 1:12–13 (CSB) Are you not from eternity, LORD my God? My Holy One, you will not die. LORD, you appointed them to execute judgment; my Rock, you destined them to punish us. 13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are you silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?
Nahum 1:2–3 (CSB) The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The LORD takes vengeance against his foes; he is furious with his enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Unconditional Love of God
- Sending Jonah to preach repentance to Ninevah
Hosea 1:7 (CSB) But I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them by the LORD their God. I will not deliver them by bow, sword, or war, or by horses and cavalry.
Joel 2:13 (CSB) Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.
Jonah 4:2 (CSB) He prayed to the LORD, “Please, LORD, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster.
Distinctions of the Preaching of the Minor Prophets
How should we have these same distinctions in our own preaching
You were never confused about what their preaching. They were never ambiguous. Not hard to understand. But hard to swallow.
Calling a spade a spade
Thundered. Their message roar like a lion.
Confront the afflicted. Yet, afflict the comfortable.
Figures of speech. Potent. Images. Robust. Analogies. Metaphors. Similes. Like a poet. Hyperbole. Anthromorphism.
Micah 1:3–5 (CSB) Look, the LORD is leaving his place and coming down to trample the heights of the earth. 4 The mountains will melt beneath him, and the valleys will split apart, like wax near a fire, like water cascading down a mountainside. 5 All this will happen because of Jacob’s rebellion and the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Isn’t it Samaria? And what is the high place of Judah? Isn’t it Jerusalem?
Called for and demanded the attention of their listeners. Engaging.
Hosea 5:1 (CSB) Hear this, priests! Pay attention, house of Israel! Listen, royal house! For the judgment applies to you because you have been a snare at Mizpah and a net spread out on Tabor.
Church is asleep and will take a loud voice to waken it.
Micah 1:2 (CSB) Listen, all you peoples; pay attention, earth and everyone in it! The Lord GOD will be a witness against you, the Lord, from his holy temple.
Solemning. Took their calling seriously. The job was real.
Nahum 1:1–2 (CSB) The pronouncement concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The LORD takes vengeance against his foes; he is furious with his enemies.
Habakkuk 1:1 (CSB) The pronouncement that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
Malachi 1:1 (CSB) A pronouncement: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.
Habakkuk 2:9–19 (CSB) Woe to him who dishonestly makes wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape the grasp of disaster! 10 You have planned shame for your house by wiping out many peoples and sinning against your own self. 11 For the stones will cry out from the wall, and the rafters will answer them from the woodwork. 12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice! 13 Is it not from the LORD of Armies that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing? 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD’s glory, as the water covers the sea. 15 Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath and even making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness! 16 You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory. You also—drink, and expose your uncircumcision! The cup in the LORD’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will cover your glory. 17 For your violence against Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of animals will terrify you because of your human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them. 18 What use is a carved idol after its craftsman carves it? It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies. For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it and makes worthless idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up! or to mute stone: Come alive! Can it teach? Look! It may be plated with gold and silver, yet there is no breath in it at all.
Micah 6:1 (CSB) Now listen to what the LORD is saying: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your complaint.
Listeners must respond today. Now.
Zephaniah 1:14 (CSB) The great day of the LORD is near, near and rapidly approaching. Listen, the day of the LORD— then the warrior’s cry is bitter.
Zechariah 1:4 (CSB) Do not be like your ancestors; the earlier prophets proclaimed to them: This is what the LORD of Armies says: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds. But they did not listen or pay attention to me—this is the LORD’s declaration.
Spurgeon. “Now”, 2 Cor 6:2
Question and Answer format. Anticipate the question and then answer.
Malachi 1:2 (CSB) “I have loved you,” says the LORD. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the LORD’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob,
Malachi 1:6–7 (CSB) “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of me? says the LORD of Armies to you priests, who despise my name.” Yet you ask, “How have we despised your name?” 7 “By presenting defiled food on my altar.” “How have we defiled you?” you ask. When you say, “The LORD’s table is contemptible.”
As oppose to indicative: statement… fact… statement… fact like a data dump
Loving and grace of God
Micah 7:18–19 (CSB) Who is a God like you, forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not hold on to his anger forever because he delights in faithful love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Nahum 1:3 (CSB) The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Jonah 3:4 (CSB) Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!”
Hosea 14:1–5 (CSB) Israel, return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity. 2 Take words of repentance with you and return to the LORD. Say to him, “Forgive all our iniquity and accept what is good, so that we may repay you with praise from our lips. 3 Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses, and we will no longer proclaim, ‘Our gods!’ to the work of our hands. For the fatherless receives compassion in you.” 4 I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for my anger will have turned from him. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like the cedars of Lebanon.
Passion. Fervency. Not what you say but how you say it.
Not whispered. Not mono
Hosea 11:10 (CSB) They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
Joel 3:16 (CSB) The LORD will roar from Zion and make his voice heard from Jerusalem; heaven and earth will shake. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the Israelites.
Amos 1:2 (CSB) He said: The LORD roars from Zion and makes his voice heard from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the summit of Carmel withers.
Jonah 3:4 (NASB95) Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”