Day 30: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah

Today we round the corner into the final straight of our studies of the Old Testament and there we encounter the first six of the twelve “minor” prophets, so-called because their writing is far shorter than that of prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel. Minor in word content they may be but minor in prophecy they are not. Each has a voice with which he draws our attention to God’s concerns and warnings for his people and each has his own particular take on the subject.

Though a hundred years may separate their writing, there is cohesion in their prophecies – the day of the Lord will come and his judgement will not be good news for those who have turned away from him. The lion will roar. The prophecies may be addressed predominantly to the people of Israel but there is much we can consider for our own time as we read them.

Oppression of the poor, adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, corruption, lack of justice….. do these sound familiar? Almost 3000 years later the issues are as alive for us as for Obadiah, Joel, Hosea, Amos and Micah and then there is the Jonah in his “big fish”. Make of that story what you will, the rapid response to his prophecy by the people of Nineveh surely provides us with comfort that God is compassionate and that, for those who turn to him, there can be a good end to their story. However, not everyone (as with Jonah), will immediately rejoice in that fact and so we are continually challenged to realise our “Good News” of the faith we profess may not be universally welcomed by those with whom we share our daily lives.

Jan Payne

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


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