This week we’ll get to read through several of the Minor Prophets. Do you remember Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel? Those were Major Prophets.
As you read through the Minor Prophets, don’t be deceived into thinking that their messages are not as significant to the overall story of the Bible. They’re messages are still given by God, important for our understanding of faith, and crucial to explaining God’s interactions with his people over time. They are simply called minor because they’re shorter. So while we spent the month of September in Isaiah, we’ll spend a day or two in Joel, Obadiah, Habbakuk, etc.
For a one sentence description of each Minor Prophets’ message, check out Bible.org.
Joel was incredibly familiar with Scripture, but that causes him not to go into great detail of what he’s trying to accomplish or what exactly needs to happen. But, like many of the other prophets, he’s calling the Israelites to repentance. It’s interesting. Check it out.
Have you seen a two year old fake cry? It’s kind of hilarious. They go through all the motions and make plenty of noise, but no real tears come out and they can stop it on a dime. Normally it’s when they want something or when they don’t want to get in trouble for something. Well, in today’s Joel reading, God is telling the Israelites he’s tired of their fake cry. They’re not truly repentant and he promises to restore them if and only if they have a true change of heart.
- 13-20 – Joel’s prophecy calls the Israelites to fast and repent.
- 12-13 – God is calling the people to true repentance. Instead of tearing their clothes, which was a common sign of sorrow, God is asking them to fix their hearts.
- 23-32 – The Lord promises to restore the Israelites when they repent. He promises to bless them abundantly.
- 1-16 – God now declares his judgment on nations that have acted against Israel and Judah.
- 1-11 – This section is used to confirm that John received a revelation in a dream from God that was intended to be given to seven churches. This is a vision of the end times.
- 12-20 – The number seven is prominent throughout the book of Revelation because it represents completion.
- 1-6 – Here, fearing the Lord is associated with material blessings.
- God’s visions and law keep people in line with God’s ultimate purpose for them and for the world.