Major Lessons From Minor Prophets

April, May, June 2013

Want to learn more about Major Lessons From Minor Prophets? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: Spiritual Adultery (Hosea) (Hosea 1-3 & 6)
"Scorned" is not a common word today. But, we all know how it feels. We feel scorned when we are rejected and someone else is chosen. Some experience this with their parents, some experience this with their children, some experience this in dating, some experience it in marriage, and some experience it in their work. Perhaps you have experienced it in all of these contexts. It hurts. Our lesson this week is about us scorning God. It seems completely illogical, but we do it all the time. Let's jump into our new series of lessons and learn more about "spiritual adultery!"

Lesson 2: Love and Judgment: God's Dilemma (Hosea) (Hosea 7, 10, 11 & 14)
Have you ever seen someone who needed an attitude adjustment? We consider what is going on, and make the judgment that person's attitude is inappropriate for the situation. Let's turn our judgment inward. Consider your attitude towards God. Could it use an adjustment? I know that God has been working on my attitude for decades. While I believe that my attitude has gotten significantly better, I know I need further improvement! Let's plunge into our continued study of Hosea to see what we can learn about improving our attitude towards God!

Lesson 3: A Holy and Just God (Joel) (Joel 1 & 2)
Assume disaster comes into your life. What is your most important goal? To survive, and if possible, turn it to your advantage. The Bible contains God's promises to help us. This week we look at the prophecies of Joel, a minor prophet, who predicted not simply disaster, but the end of the world. He also prophesied what God would do to help. Let's jump right into Joel to see what God has in mind for us in times of trouble!

Lesson 4: Lord of All Nations (Amos) (Amos 1-2)
When my children were very young we played a game called "Roar." I would hide and then roar like a lion. (Well, a little bit like a lion.) The children would then try to figure out where I was hiding. Since their sense of sound direction was not very good, the result was often humorous. I would be very close to them, roar, and they would run the opposite direction. Our lesson this week is about God "roaring" His message to pagans and to His followers. Are we like children, misunderstanding God's direction? Do we fail to follow His instructions for living? Are we "tone deaf" to God's roar? Let's race into our study of the book of Amos and see what we can learn!

Lesson 5: Seek the Lord and Live! (Amos 5 & 9, Romans 7, Genesis 12)
Last week we studied the "roars" that God sent out to the pagan nations that surrounded His people. Next, we read that God's roars were also directed towards His own people. What should we learn from that? God is an "equal opportunity" roarer? How about reaching the conclusion that God encourages us to live holy lives? If that is God's message, and I believe it is, let's explore that message in more depth and learn how do we do that by jumping into our study of Amos!

Lesson 6: Eager to Forgive (Jonah) (Jonah 1-4)
Are you a loyal citizen of your country? Does your citizenship prejudice your thinking about other countries? Since I live in the United States, and many of our readers do not, insert the right answer for you in the following questions. Which country is the most dangerous enemy of your country? Have that country in mind? Now imagine that you are a prophet. For most of your life God sent you messages that were helpful to your country. Now God sends you a message that will threaten, but may help, the country which is your most dangerous enemy. You are supposed to personally deliver it. If you are a patriot, how would you like that assignment? You might like the threat part! But it might get you killed! What if it helps your enemy? Let's dive into our study of the book of Jonah to see what we can learn about God and His dealings with us!

Lesson 7: God's Special People (Micah) (Micah 1, 2, 5 & 7)
Does everyone need hope? The obvious answer is, "yes." But, hope is a funny thing. You don't need hope if you are satisfied with how things are now. In Revelation 3:16 God says He wants to spit out lukewarm people. God prefers us to be hot or cold. Does that mean that God wants to spit out people who don't need hope? Recall that last week God sent the worm that killed the plant that gave Jonah shade? Would God send "worms" into our life to put us in a posture where we needed hope? If so, what kind of hope does God offer? Let's dive into our study of the book of Micah and find out!

Lesson 8: Trusting God's Goodness (Habakkuk) (Habakkuk 1-3)
Would you like to keep private past decisions that were questionable? How many times do you wish that others would not criticize you? Do you like it when others want to discuss with you some error that you made in the past? Except when you are sinfully bragging, do you like to talk about past sins? Unless you are an uncommon saint, the answer to all of these questions is that we do not like to be questioned, criticized or reminded of our sins. Our amazing God is open to a discussion about His decisions. The God who created us is willing to discuss how He treats us. The book of Habakkuk reveals a God who is open and transparent. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about God's decision-making!

Lesson 9: The Day of the Lord (Zephaniah) (Zephaniah 1-3)
Do you feel nervous? Does life make you anxious? Do you try to calm yourself by saying, "I can handle this?" Our lesson this week is about people who got into a whole bunch of trouble. The trouble began because they depended upon their own power and authority. They relied on their gates, walls, wealth, and intellect to keep them safe. They sacrificed others to protect themselves. God has a better way for us. Let's plunge into our study of Zephaniah and find out more!

Lesson 10: First Things First (Haggai) (Haggai 1-2)
Does it seem like you have a hole in your pocket? You can never get ahead, never save? Whenever it seems like you are going to have additional money, it turns out that some new need arises that sets you back to where you were before! If you answered, "Yes, that describes my life," then carefully consider the book of Haggai. Our study this week is about a people who have been released from Babylonian captivity, but things are not going right in their lives. Let's dive into the Bible and find out why!

Lesson 11: Visions of Hope (Zechariah 1-6)
Zechariah is a fabulously interesting book! It is filled with symbols, complexity and great news about the gospel! We will spend this week and the next unraveling the stories that give us confidence in our Messiah and the message of salvation by grace alone. Let's plunge into our study to discover the lessons God has for us in the first half of the book of Zechariah!

Lesson 12: Heaven's Best Gift (Zechariah) (Zechariah 7-14, Matthew 21)
When I was growing up, some of my elders would tell me that if I did not obey God, He would not listen to me when I needed help. Others would say that God would listen to me regardless of what I might do. Our study of Zechariah 7 helps unravel that issue. Another issue when I was younger was whether Christianity was the correct religion. There were so many religions. I grew up a Christian, how could I be sure I was born into the right religion? Zechariah 9 & 11 help with that issue. Let's dive into the lesson and see what lessons God has for us!

Lesson 13: Lest We Forget (Malachi) (Malachi 1-4)
As we close our series of lessons on the "Minor Prophets" of the Old Testament, we study Malachi. Malachi sounds a familiar tone among the minor prophets: pay attention to your relationship with God. Perhaps because of the wonderful message that we should look at God as our father, some treat God as they do their earthly father - with disrespect and indifference. Let's jump into our study of Malachi and find what God has to say about that!

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