The Minor Prophets (a series we’re beginning and will go through the summer) are not exactly the most well know part of the Bible for most Christians. A lot of that has to do with not knowing how to understand and access what is going on. In today’s message, we talked about several “lenses” through which to read the prophets which should help us in our reading. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will help you get started.
The prophets’ words were not just meant for Israel, but for God’s people throughout time. May we experiences the riches of His word during this study!
4 Lenses for Reading and Understanding the Prophets:
Poetic in their style, and Symphonic in their structure.
– As opposed to linear / sequential (Prose)
– More cyclical: A theme is introduced, and revisited in a variety of ways.
Assumes familiarity with Biblical narrative.
– Introductions often link us to where we are in Israel’s history.
Look for 3-fold pronouncement of accusation, calls to repentance, and “The Day of the Lord”
– Accusation: Idolatry, social injustice, foreign military alliances, violence, hypocritical ritualism, spiritual apathy
– Calls to Repentance: Opportunity for mercy, and warning of consequences if they don’t.
– The Day of the Lord: Many different historical examples of God freeing the oppressed and bringing judgment against evil.
Recognizing the possibility of:
– Near-term fulfillment: during or shortly after lifetime of prophet / audience (exile)
– Middle-term fulfillment: hundreds of years after original audience (Messiah)
– Far-term fulfillment: Future even for us (Final judgment / New Jerusalem / Kingdom)