This week, my Bible reading plan brought me to the Minor Prophets. I have been a Christian for twenty years and sometimes I still struggle to read the Minor Prophets profitably. I doubt that I am alone in this assessment, but I have also found that putting in the work to understand these twelve little-known books can also pay great dividends by helping us grow in our knowledge of God, increase our grasp of the whole Bible, and live the Christian life more faithfully.
The next time your Bible reading plan takes you to the Minor Prophets, apply these four suggestions.
Read the Minor Prophets in Light of their Historical Context
It would be difficult to grasp what is happening in the diary of Anne Frank without knowing something about Nazi Germany during World War 2. In the same way, knowing the historical setting for the Minor Prophets helps us to grasp their message. With some exceptions, the Minor Prophets give you a key to unlock the historical setting in which they speak.
Let’s take the book of Hosea as an example. The first verse of Hosea says, “The world of the Lord that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel.” The list of kings in the first verse gives us the historical setting for the rest of the book. Look at the names of these kings then go read about them in the books of Kings and Chronicles. This will give you a window into the world Hosea is addressing.
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