Hosea to Malachi

The prophets in this grouping are in no way “minor” in terms of their significance. This description only refers to the length of the individual book, they are shorter in length than those of the “major” prophets. The Minor Prophets includes lives of different prophets, from different social strata and in different parts of the kingdom of Israel, who, like the Major Prophets, were used by God to carry his message of warning and reconciliation to his chosen people.

An Agonizing Allegory

This lesson introduces The Book of Hosea, the first of ‘the Minor Prophets.’ God uses Hosea, his wayward wife, and her future children as living allegories to preach about His enduring love towards the wayward people of Israel. In spite of Gomer’s unfaithfulness, God tells Hosea to continue loving her and to redeem her. Similarly, God shows His enduring love towards His unfaithful wife Israel, loving them in spite of their sin.

The Day of the Lord and the Locusts

This lesson introduces the book of Joel with its three dramatic scenes. It starts with a locust plague, then reveals the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and ends with the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is a period of judgment for the wicked and salvation for the faithful, which God brings at various times preparing hearts for the ultimate day of Judgment. Joel wants each of us to be ready in our souls for the day, that we might live and not perish.

The Lion Roars and Amos Sees it

This lesson introduces The Book of Amos. God calls Amos, a mere farmer and a shepherd from Judah and sends him to prophecy against the Northern kingdom. To Israel’s joy, Amos prophesies against the sins of seven nations surrounding them, marking completion. But then he goes on to condemn Israel. God is like an angry lion, ready to devour the disobedient, and the God who punishes their enemies will punish them too if they continue in their disobedience.

The Edom Experience

This lesson reviews the shortest book in the Old Testament, The Book of Obadiah. Obadiah’s preaches to Judah about the destruction of the nation of Edom. Edom is a nickname for Jacob’s wayward twin brother, Esau. Though Edom is Israel's brother nation, they have a long history of hostility toward Israel, even helping other nations defeat and despoil them. Edom rejoices over Israel’s troubles and offers no aid in times of trouble. Thus, God decides to completely wipe out the Edomites, but extends his favor towards Israel.

He is Not Going and He is Not Coming

This lesson introduces the book of Jonah. The book focuses on Jonah’s continued resistance to God’s command that he go and proclaim the coming destruction of Assyria’s capital city, Nineveh. His hatred and prejudice against those people makes him fear that his mission will result in their repentance and salvation. Through both a storm, a near drowning, a miraculous deliverance God begins to work on Jonah’s transformation so that he might share God’s heart for all living souls.

The Prejudiced Prophet

This lesson continues the study on the Book of Jonah, going more in-depth into God’s work in and through the great prophet Jonah, when he flees his call to preach judgment to his worst enemies, the people of Assyria. Jonah has genuine reasons to hate the Assyrians but God has more genuine reasons to save them. The lesson explains how God heals Jonah of his prejudice and hatred for Assyrians and also shows us how difficult it is for God to work with prejudiced people. Our prejudice towards people who are not like us blocks God’s great mercy towards them.

The Political Prophet

This lesson Introduces The Book of Micah, who preaches three great sermons during the days of Isaiah. He directs these sermons to the corrupt leaders, priests and prophets of Israel and Judah, who use their positions of power to oppress instead of bringing light and justice in the world. The lesson urges us to not turn a blind eye to the corrupt world around us, but to influence society and bring about a godly change.

God’s Final Solution

This lesson focuses on the third and final sermon of Micah. Here, the prophet puts Israel on trial for breaking their covenant with God. God holds Israel accountable for their sins but He earnestly wants them to repent and enjoy restored relationship with Him. God does not want their animal sacrifices; all He wants is a heart filled with justice, humility and mercy. God’s favor cannot be earned by offering outward sacrifices or good works but by repentance, surrender and full obedience.

Ho-hum or Nahum

This lesson reviews The Book of Nahum which operates like a prophetic ‘sequel’ to The Book of Jonah. When Jonah declared judgment on Nineveh, 100 years earlier, the Ninevites responded with sincere repentance, but now, the prophet Nahum renews the condemnation against them. Nineveh’s destruction will bring comfort for Israel because the Assyrians had been terrorizing Israel for many years. The lesson shows that God eventually punishes all those who persecute and trouble His people.

The Original Talk Show

This lesson explores the Book of Habakkuk, who wrote shortly after the death of king Josiah and the fall of the Assyrian Empire. When Josiah’s reforms fail to cure Judah’s corruption, Habakkuk cries out in frustration, asking God why He does not discipline the nation to Habakkuk’s satisfaction. When God reveals His big plan, Habakkuk swings emotionally, horrified that God would use wicked Babylon to punish a more righteous Judah. Through the vision given to him, Habakkuk’s heart blossoms with trust and praise, even in the face of coming devastation.

Clean Sweep from Top to Bottom

This lesson unpacks the Book of Zephaniah, which revolves around the ‘Day of the Lord.’ The Day of the Lord is a day of judgment where God pours out his wrath upon the unrepentant, but rescues the righteous. Zephaniah condemns governmental corruption the world over, and calls for mass repentance lest the Day of the Lord sweep them all away. Let every heart judge itself continually in preparation for that Day.

God First

This lesson introduces us to prophetic book of Haggai, who ministered to the remnant who returned to the Promised Land out of Babylonian exile. Haggai confronts those who had started but not finished the rebuilding of God's Temple in Jerusalem, because they had been opposed in the work by the Samaritans. Haggai encourages them to put God first, insisting that God will bless them when they prioritize God's work.

Focus Your Faith

This lesson considers four powerful sermons by Haggai. (1) Faith will focus your priorities, (2) Faith will focus your perspective, (3) Faith will focus your motivation, and (4) Faith will focus your fears. His primary emphasis is to motivate the remnants to the rebuilding of the Temple and to assure them that God would honor them with his glory and presence. He also emboldens to the newly appointed and vulnerable governor in the Lord of promise. He must not fear.

Apocalypse Now

This lesson introduces us to the message of the first half of the book of Zechariah. The exiles have come back to their homeland, but they are demoralized and disoriented in their faith and works, having abandoned the rebuilding of the Temple. They must turn their hearts back to God. Through a series of eight visions, God uses Zechariah to encourage faith and trust in God’s continued providence, protection, and presence amidst the persecution and suffering.

What You See is What You Get

This lesson unpacks in the second half of the book of Zechariah where the prophets envisions the coming of the Good Shepherd. He will bring transformation, restoration, and reconciliation by providing atonement between God and the sinner.

Back Chat

This lesson introduces us to Malachi's confrontation of cooling religious sentiments of the restored community of Israel decades after the Ministry of Zechariah and Haggai. Though going through the religious motions their life choices declare that they actually despise the Lord, defile His house, rob Him, and show contempt for their covenant with Him in the way they treat family and neighbor alike.

Seven Blueprints for a Burnout

This lesson outlines Malachi's pronouncements against the indifference of the restored people of Israel toward God. They mishandle the Scriptures, mistreat their neighbors, give cheap worship, rob tithes, and abandoning their marriage commitments. They better heed his messengers sent to prepare a highway in their hearts, because He is coming to judge the world, and woe to those whose hearts are not right when He arrives.