Category Archives: Minor Prophets

The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets Week 3 – Micah

This past Sunday was week 3 in my class on the Gospel according to the Minor Prophets. Since I was filling the pulpit, my student Trent Crofts filled in for me, and worked his way through Micah. Micah ministered during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (750-686), though scholars tend to narrow the range of his ministry to 730-701. As such he saw the destruction of the northern kingdom Israel in 722 B.C. While sharing some of the same emphases as Amos and Hosea, Micah focuses on the corruption within the leadership of God’s people.

Among the many biblical-theological themes in Micah are the uniqueness of Yahweh (7:18-20), the restoration of the temple (4:1-3), and the promise of a Davidic Messiah (5:2-5a).

How can we as God’s people today benefit from Micah? What is it that God has to say to us today through this Minor Prophet?

I believe the starting point is determining the theological big idea, which I would summarize as follows: Because our sin has been judged at the cross and we live in the last days, we must walk humbly with our truly unique God in heartfelt obedience.

Of course, we see the uniqueness foremost in the person of Jesus Christ, who was Yahweh in the flesh. We have the privilege of living in the last days when people from every tribe and tongue are streaming to the mountain of the house of the Lord to learn to walk in the ways of the God of Jacob. At the same time, we we should heed well Micah’s reminder of what God requires of us. That has not changed in the new covenant; if anything it has intensified. We have seen the embodiment of the person who did justice, who loved kindness, and walked humbly with his God in the person of Christ. Think of his perfect life of justice, obeying the Law of God with his whole heart down to the very last detail of what was required. Think of his love of kindness, shown in his compassion on the lost and his faithful obedience to the Father, even to the point of death on a cross. Think of how humbly he walked with God, submissively following the Father’s plan to the cross. But Christ is more than the example of these qualities. He has granted us his Spirit to live within us, and empower us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. How great a Savior we have who would embody these things perfectly on our behalf and then grant us his Spirit so that we might do the same.

Want to hear more? You can check out the audio and the handout below:

Week 3 – Micah (Trent Crofts) (Audio)

Week 3 – Micah (Handout)

The Gospel According to the Minor Prophets Week 2 – Amos

This past Sunday was week 2 in my class on the Gospel according to the Minor Prophets, and we worked our way through Amos. The prophet Amos ministered during a time of material prosperity in both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (sometime between 791-740 B.C.). But underneath this veneer of material prosperity was idolatry that led to empty religious ritual, mistreatment of the poor, and other forms of social injustice.

God raised Amos up to pronounce judgment: on the nations (1:1-2:16), on Israel (3:1-6:14), and in visions (7:1-9:15). Amos pictures God as a lion circling his ultimate prey: Israel herself! Amos used repetition (“for three transgressions and for four”; see 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6) as well as biting irony (e.g., 4:9-11) to call Israel to repentance, but they did not return to Yahweh (4:6-13). Instead, they clung to the misguided notion that the nations would be judged on the Day of the Lord but they themselves would escape unscathed (5:18-20).

How can we as God’s people today benefit from Amos? What is it that God has to say to us today through this Minor Prophet?

I believe the starting point is determining the theological big idea, which I would summarize as follows: When the Day of the Lord comes, God will judge the sins of His people and reconstitute His people under a Davidic king to inhabit a new creation.

Of course, for us as believers our Day of the Lord has already come in the death and resurrection of Jesus. On that day when the sun went down at noon and the Passover festival was turned into mourning for an only Son (Amos 8:9-10), our sin was judged. God has raised up the fallen booth of David and called Jew and Gentile alike to himself (Amos 9:11-12). By faith in Jesus our Davidic king, we have been made part of the people of God who are new creations awaiting the consummation of the Messianic Age in a new heavens and earth, when “the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it” (Amos 9:14).

Want to hear more? You can check out the audio and the handout below:

Week 2 – Amos (Audio)

Week 2 – Amos (Handout)

The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets – Week 1

This Fall I have the privilege of teaching a Life Education class at Christ’s Covenant Church entitled The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets. My goal is to help people not only understand each of the Minor Prophets in their historical and literary context, but also in their redemptive-historical context. There are so many ways that the Minor Prophets reveal our fallen condition, our need for grace, and the hope that is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The first week was this past Sunday. I sought to introduce the class to the Minor Prophets and how we should read them. I attempted to answer the following questions: (1) Who were the prophets? (2) What is prophecy? (3) When were the prophets active? (4) What is the dominant theological pattern of the prophets? (5) How should we interpret the prophets. You can listen to the audio (Week 1 – Introduction) and follow along with the handout (Week 1 – Overview and Introduction (Handout).