Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets - A survey  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:09
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History, comfort, hope

As New Testament Christians who live under grace through faith there is still much we can learn from history. History that can bring comfort and hope (Rom15:4) as well as instructions for our protection (1Cor10:11) The study of the Old Testament is profitable (2Tim3:14-17) and tonight we start a journey with the minor prophets.
We are no longer under the Law and the Covenant of the Law, we are living under justification by faith, oh wait, Abram was justified by faith (Gen15:6; Rom4:1-3), the O.T. is still of great value to us
Romans 15:4 NASB95
4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Question: Why were the things written in earlier times written according to (Rom15:4)?
Written for our instruction, encouragement and that we might have hope.
(Transition) that is pretty valuable, but then so is history right, we can learn from history on things to do, or things not to do. You know, mistakes not to make.
1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB95
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Question: Why did the things in the past (history) happen, look closely at (1Cor10:11)?
Written for our example, for our instruction.
I think we can agree that all scripture is profitable, now look at that in context and keep that in mind as we go through this series, eventhough we do not face the exact circumstances they did, we can learn from them and we can gain a better understanding of many things along the way. I will expand on that later tonight.
2 Timothy 3:14–15 NASB95
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NASB95
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Question what are the sacred writings that Paul is inferring to Timothy in (2Tim2:15)?
The sacred writings of the Old Testament (implied).
(Transition) I think you will find that the sacred writings are significant in our life and walk of faith, this collection of 12 books beginning with Hosea and ending with Malachi make up the later part of the Old Testament.
(Aim of the study picture inserted here)
(Expand on what an Aim is, what is the goal, what is the purpose in doing the study in the first place)
To better understand God’s holiness, righteousness, justice as well as mercy and grace.
To grow in understanding of how God dealt with the nations of men. Including judgment against His people (Israel) and against the other nations too.
Another aim, i think you will find is the beauty of the literary masterpieces that are put together to show you the things listed above, there are some great stories and stops along the way we will look at.

So, who were the prophets?

Prophets had names, had different names/titles that they were known by, scripture shows us, defines and displays so we can get an understanding.
Biblical definition (Deu18:18)
Deuteronomy 18:18 NASB95
18 ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
Question: who will raise up the prophet? Who will give them the words? What are they to do with the words?
God raises up the prophet, God gives the words, they are to speak them as God commands.
(Transition): God calls the prophet, equips the prophet, commands the prophet, now not all prophets did the same thin nor were all identified the same.
Lawgiver (Moses) - called prophet, called lawgiver (Neh8:1, 14, 9:13-14; Jn1:17, 7:19)
Nehemiah 8:1 NASB95
1 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel.
The Law was given to Moses and given to Israel by the word of Moses for them to follow
Nehemiah 8:14 NASB95
14 They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month.
And now a little more you can look at Neh9:13-14; Jn1:17, 7:19) in those you will see that other acknowledged that the words that Moses gave to them were directly from God, as did Jesus say the same thing.
Called, priests, administrators of the law (Lev10:8-11; Hos4:6; Ezr22:26; Mal2:7)
Question: Look at Lev10:8-11 and see what Aaron was commanded as a prophet not to do, what to do.
Leviticus 10:8–9 NASB95
8 The Lord then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations—
Commanded not drink, so you will not die.
Leviticus 10:10–11 NASB95
10 and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”
Authorized to distinguish between holy and profane, clean and unclean
Commanded to teach the the sons of Israel.
In Hos4:6; Eze22:26 and Mal2:7 they are identified as priests, but Malachi gives another designation too.
Malachi 2:7 NASB95
7 “For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
Question: What other designation beyond priest is given here in Mal2:7?
Also designated, identified as messenger of the Lord.
In other places called Wisemen or in some cases wise women as seen in (2Sam14:1-24, 20:16-22)
In both the 2Sam passages it was giving sage advise, wise advise to the king or kings top people you can read those passages on your own.
They were called psalmists, poets, sweet singers of Israel (2Sam23:1) no greater example than David.
2 Samuel 23:1 NASB95
1 Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, The man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel,
(Transition) they gave the law, they administered the law, taught the law, they were wise, they gave counsel, they were sweet singers who communicated the word of God as commanded by God.
Prophet was a spokesman for another (Exo4:16; 2Pt1:21; Jer20:7-9)
Aaron was a spokesman for Moses in Exo4:16
Exodus 4:16 NASB95
16 “Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.
God was going to give the words to Moses, Moses was giving the words that God gave to Aaron for Aaron to speak them to the people. Aaron was to treat the words of Moses as were from God (and they were).
Prophet operated under the power of the Holy Spirit
under the authority of God and the power and influence of the Holy Spirit the Prophet had to speak what was given for they were a spokesman for God
2 Peter 1:21 NASB95
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Question: How did prophesy come according to 2Pt1:21?
By men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke of God.
(Transition) under the authority of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, compelled to speak, look what Jeremiah said about it.
Jeremiah 20:7–8 NASB95
7 O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the Lord has resulted In reproach and derision all day long.
Jeremiah 20:9 NASB95
9 But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.
Jeremiah did not like speaking it but knew he had to keep doing it, even if the people did not like it nor did he like the results he was getting, laughingstock, mocked, reproached.
Prophet is a forth-teller, sometimes a fore-teller
Forthteller - speaking God’s words for current times, current events
Foreteller - speaking God’s words regarding future events.
Important to know that the prophets were to draw teach, rebuke, help the people to repent and return to God.
Other names, designations
Seers (1Sam9:9)
In the early days of Isreal history the prophet was called “seer” you can see that in 1Sam9, for it was the seer that Saul was looking for to help him find the missing donkeys.
Man of God (1Sa9:6; 1Kn17:18)
Another common nae was man of God also used in 1Sam9 and 1Kn17, it was an acknowledgment that the person had insight from God and spoke or God .
Servant of God (1Kn18:36; 1Chr6:49)
Also known as God’s messengers (Isa42:19)
Isaiah 42:19 NASB95
19 Who is blind but My servant, Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
Question: What are the two names given to the prophet in (Isa42:19)?
My servant and My messenger.
Were assuming role of God’s watchmen (Eze3:17, 33:7)
Ezekiel 3:17 NASB95
17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
According to Ezek3:17, the watchman was over the house of Isreal, was to hear the Word of God and warn the house of Isreal with the words of God.
(Transition): So the prophets were servants of God, divinely appointed and inspired by the Spirit to proclaim His Word. As God’s messengers the messages could be for the right now or for the future, all were for, directed toward God’s people.

Types of Prophets

The prophets having different names known by, different responsibilities now there is also different types of prophets too. Since this in introduction section I think you need this too.
Oral Prophets (1Kn17, 2Kn2; 2Sam12)
Oral prophets are prophets who are named but not no writing bearing their names (i.e. Elijah and Elisha); there are others too like Nathan.
(Transition) then there are those others, that bear writing under their name, that are named prophets in the writings too.
Literary Prophets (Isa6:4-8; Jer1:4-5)
Such as Isaiah
Isaiah 6:4–5 NASB95
4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Isaiah 6:6–7 NASB95
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
Isaiah 6:8 NASB95
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
God showed him, God humbled him, God called him
Jeremiah 1:4–5 NASB95
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
God called before he was even born, consecrated, set apart, then appointed to the task at hand.
(Transition) All the prophets bearing their names are called literary prophets and even within them there was further categorization.
Side note: It was not until the 3rd century that the terms major and minor prophets were introduced and that was by Augustine De Hippo in the 3rd Century. The distinction between major and minor had only to do with the length of the recorded writing, not the content or the position as God’s servant.
Major prophets -This includes Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel
Minor prophets - this includes those in the 12 books from Hosea to Malachi.
(Transition): The literary prophets are not in chronological order, in fact there have been controveries over dating some of them, I will give to you as I believe fit. Regardless if you come with different dates it does not change the person, the position or the proclamations being made and recorded as God servants.

General belief

The Prophet range from about 845BC to 440BC, each Century (in general) had its own period so may we look chronologically to get an idea of who, where and when.
Ninth Century (Early Assyrian Period)
Obadiah (845 bc)
Joel (830 bc)
Jonah (790-750 bc)
This is during the period of the divided Kingdom (Israel and Judah) To the north and east the empire of Assyria was making itself known.
Eighth Century (Assyrian Period)
Amos (755 bc)
Hosea (750-725 bc)
Isaiah (740-700 bc)
Micah (735-700 bc)
In year 722 bc the northern kingdom (aka Israel) was taken into Assyrian captivity. These prophets were proclaiming God’s word, God’s message while this was going on.
Seventh Century (Chaldean Period)
Jeremiah (626-586 bc)
Zephaniah (630-625 bc)
Nahum (625 -612 bc)
Habakkuk (625-605 bc)
Assyria was eventually defeated by Babylon; these prophets served when the Babylonian empire threatened the kingdom of Judah (the Southern Kingdom).
Sixth Century (The Exile)
Ezekiel (593-570 bc)
Daniel (605-536 bc)
From captivity (exile) these prophets proclaimed God’s message to God’s people and to the kings.
Sixth and fifth Centuries (Post-Exilic Period)
Haggai (520 bc)
Zechariah (520-518 bc)
Malachi (440 bc)
Under the decree of Darius the Mead, the captives were set free to return to Israel, Haggai and Zechariah were used to encourage the people to rebuild the temple and then later Malachi was used to rebuild, reform the priesthood during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Things to consider in this study

There are things that we need to consider, to keep in mind as we start this journey through the 12 books the compile the minor prophets. We must come with a desire to know God and know God more so here are things to consider.
Consider the political, social and religious conditions of the times.
Consider Gods relations to the other nations
Look for and note any teaching about the Messiah and the coming kingdom.
Some great observations you will see developed
The holiness of God
The sovereignty of God
The immutability of God’s word
The terribleness of sin
Call for repentance; demand to live righteously
Finally, the worship that is due to God
(Transition to close) So, why study the minor prophets? So we can learn about the nature of God, Understand His Holiness, justice, righteousness and mercy. you can see the working of God in his people and the nations around bringing judgment on his people and the nations around, both being guilty.
If you want to prepare for next week, read the book of Obadiah for that is where we will start.
lead to invitation/encouragement (Invitation slide- be a christian) - gospel is where we start. (song) (Prayer)
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