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The Minor Prophets-Part One

Hosea Overview

The book of Hosea describes the patient long-suffering of God towards the rebellious and unfaithful northern kingdom of Israel. However, it is made clear to the Israelites that punishment will engulf anyone who remains willfully rebellious. A key theme is Hosea's marriage to the unfaithful Gomer, which is symbolic of the relationship between God and Israel.  Hosea joyfully looked forward to the coming of the Redeemer and is quoted often in the New Testament (Matthew 9:12-13; Romans 9:25-26; 1 Peter 2:10).
The Book of Hosea is a prophetic accounting of God's relentless love for His children. Since the beginning of time God's ungrateful and undeserving creation has been accepting God's love, grace, and mercy but unable to refrain from its wickedness. Hosea seems to take this act of unfaithfulness personally as he takes a prostitute in marriage.
The Book of Hosea assures us of God's unconditional love for mankind. But it is also a picture of how God is dishonored and hurt by the actions of His children. How can a child who is given an abundance of love, mercy, and grace treat a Father with so much disrespect?  Yet, we have done just that for centuries.  As we look at how the Israelites turned their backs on God we need to look no further than the mirror in front of us to see a reflection of those same Israelites.
Only by remembering how much God has done for each us will we be able to avoid hurting the One who can give us eternal life in Glory instead of the Hell we deserve. It is essential that we learn to respect our Creator. When we do make a mistake Hosea has shown us that if we have a sorrowful heart and a promise of repentance then God will again show His never-ending love to us.

And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.  Hosea 2:23

What prophetic message is GOD relaying to us in the verse above?  How does it affect you personally?
Hosea Outline
A. Hosea's Married Life
Chapter Reference
1:2 thru 1:9
His marriage to Gomer
1:10 thru 2:1  
A message of hope
2:2 thru 2:13
Judgment on faithless Israel
2:14 thru 2:23
Hosea's restoration of faithless Israel
3:1 thru 3:5
Hosea's redemption of his faithless wife
B. Impending Invasion and Future Hope
Chapter Reference
4:1 thru 4:3
The guilt of the people
4:4 thu 4:19
The guilt of the priests
5:1 thru 5:7
Judgment on kings and priests for leading the people astray
5:8 thru 5:15
Disastrous foreign policies of Ephraim and Judah
6:1 thru 6:6
Israel's plea and God's rejoinder
6:7 thru 7:7
The crimes of Israel
7:8 thru 8:3
Israel's disastrous foreign policy
8:4 thru 8:14
Israel's idolatry and wicked alliances
9:1 thru 9:9
The exile of Israel foretold
9:10 thru 9:17 
Israel's apostasy
10:1 thru 10:8
Destruction of the Baal cult prophesied
10:9 thru 10:10
The sin at Gibeah
10:11 thru 10:15
The ruin of Israel
11:1 thru 11:7
God's love; Israel's ingratitude
11:8 thru 11:11
God's pity for his people
11:12 thru 12
The sins of Jacob
13:1 thru 13:16
Historical transgressions
C. Israel's Conversion and Renewal
Chapter Reference
14:1 thru 14:9  
the call to repentance and blessing
Joel Overview
A terrible locusts plague is followed by a severe famine throughout the land. Joel uses these happenings as the catalyst to send words of warning to Judah that unless the people repent quickly and completely, enemy armies will devour the land, as did the natural elements. Joel appeals to all the people and the priest of the land to fast and humble themselves as they seek God's forgiveness. If they will but respond, there will be renewed material and spiritualblessings for the nation. But the Day of the Lord is coming. At this time the dreaded locust will seem as gnats in comparison, as all nations receive their judgment. Without repentance, judgment will be harsh, thorough and certain. Our trust should not be in our intellect, our works our possessions, or anything else but in the Lord our God. God at times may use nature, sorrow or other common occurrences to draw us closer to Him.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  Joel 2:28-29

Has the prophecy above been fulfilled? Has this prophecy had any direct impact on your life?
Joel Outline
A. The Locust Plague, The Day of the Lord
Chapter Reference
1:2 thru 1:20
A threefold calamity, locusts, drought and fires
2:1 thru 2:17
The scourge as the forerunner of the Judgment Day
B. Averting of Judgment and Bestowal of Blessing
Chapter Reference
2:18 thru 2:27
The blessings of the immediate future
2:28 thru 2:32
The outpouring of the divine spirit
3:1 thru 3:17
Judgment upon the nations
3:18 thru 3:21
The blessings on God's people

Amos Overview


The book of Amos was written during a period of national optimism in the northern kingdom of Israel. King Jeroboam II was ruler, and politically and materially the northern kingdom rivaled the age of Solomon and David. Amos, a shepherd by trade, was called by God to pronounce judgment by denouncing Israel's luxurious living, idolatry, and moral depravity. Amos urges the people to repent before the judgments of God come upon them. "Seek God and live", was Amos' plea to the nation. He also foretells the dispersion of the Israelites, but points to a day when God would re-gather them in the land of their forefathers.

Sometimes we think we are not very important in the grand scheme of things. Amos would have been considered not very important, either.   He was only a shepherd. Who would listen to him?  But instead of making excuses, Amos obeyed and became God's powerful voice for change.
God has used "nobodies" such as shepherds, carpenters, and fishermen all through the Bible.  Whatever or wherever you are in this life, God can use you too!
Amos Outline
A. the Judgments Against the Nations
Chapter Reference
1:1 thru 1:2
Introduction and proclamation
1:3 thru 2:3
Indictment of neighboring nations
2:4 thru 2:5
Indictment of Judah
2:6 thru 2:!6   
Indictment of Israel
B. Three Discourses Against Israel
Chapter Reference
A declaration of judgment
    the depravity of Israel
5 thru 6
A lamentatioin for Israel's sin and doom
C. Five Visions of Israel's Condition
Chapter Reference
7:1 thru 7:3
The devouring locusts
7:4 thru 7:6
The flaming fire
7:7 thru 7:17
The plumb line
the basket of ripe fruit
  The judgment of the Lord
Obadiah Outline
Obadiah's name means "servant of Yahweh" ("Yahweh" is the Hebrew name of God). Obadiah was a prophet who pronounced judgment upon the nation of Edom for its antagonism against Israel. Edom is the nation that descended from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, who had his name changed to Israel. Edom was to be punished for the violence against Israel they committed when invading the land.

Edom has been arrogant, gloating over Israel's misfortunes and when enemy armies attack Israel and the Israelites ask for help, the Edomites refuse and choose to fight against them, not for them. These sins of pride can be overlooked no longer. The book ends with the promise of the fulfillment and deliverance of Zion in the Last Days when the land will be restored to God's people as He rules over them.

God will overcome in our behalf if we will stay true to Him. Unlike Edom, we must be willing to help others in times of need. Pride is sin. We have nothing to be proud of except Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.
Obadiah Outline
A. Introduction-Verse 1
B. Judgement on Edom-Verse 2 thru 14
C.The Day of the Lord-Verse 15 thru 21
Jonah Overview
The book is concerned with the commission of Jonah to warn the city of Nineveh to repent and obey God's commandments so that they might avoid destruction.  Jonah's fear and pride cause him to run from God.  He does not wish to go to Nineveh to preach repentance to the people, as God has commanded, because he feels they are his enemy and he is convinced that God will not carry out his threat to destroy the city.  Instead he boards a ship for Tarshish, which is in the opposite direction.  Soon a raging storm causes the crew to cast lots to determine that Jonah is the problem.  They throw him overboard, and a great fish swallows him. In its belly for 3 days and 3 nights, Jonah repents of his sin to God, and the fish vomits him up on dry land.  Jonah then makes the 500-mile trip to Nineveh and leads the city in a great revival.  But the prophet is displeased instead of being thankful when Nineveh repents. Jonah learns his lesson, however, when God uses a wind, a gourd and a worm to teach him that God is merciful.
We cannot hide from God. Regardless of our patriotism, we must never put our country ahead of God. Regardless of our reputation, nationality or race God loves us.  Rejoicing in the salvation of others is an experience God wants us to share with Him (not be resentful, jealous or thinking it is not "real").
Jonah Outline
A. Jonah's Flight-Chapter 1
B. Jonah's Prayer-Chapter 2
C . Jonah's Preaching-Chapter 3
D . Jonah's Displeasure-Chapter 4
Micah Overview
Micah, who was contemporary with Isaiah, was to the southern kingdom of Judah what Amos was previously to the northern kingdom of Israel. Both were fierce critics of the rich and powerful who exploited the poor. Though Micah's prophecies refer especially to Judah, they concern all of Israel. Micah's leading ideas are the regeneration of Israel's remnant through judgment, the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the line of David, and the conversion of the nations through that Kingdom. The conclusion of his prophecy is a triumphant expression of faith, which is seen in its true quality against the background of the materialism and the corruption of the reign of Ahaz.
Expect sinners to sin. Do not be offended when someone sins against you. Extend a caring arm to people whose sin makes them unbearable. Pray that your fellow believers will stand strong in their difficult circumstances.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  Micah 6:8

A. Approaching Judgment of Israel and Judah Because of Sin
Chapter Reference
1:1 thru 1:2
The call to attention
1:3 thru 1:4
Terrible coming of God announced and described
Sins of the capital city representative of those of the nation
1:6 thu 1:7
Fearful consequences of this judgment
1:8 thru 1:16
The prophet's reaction and his vision of this judgment
B. Doom of Corrupt Prophets and Oppressors
Chapter Reference
2:1 thru 2:5
Woe upon the land monopizers
2:6 thu 2:13
False preaching of lyig prophets
3:1 thru 3:7
Denunciation of the leaders of the people
Micah's consciousness of power from the Spirit of GOd
3:9 thru 3:12
Gross sin and crime to bring destruction upon Jerusalem
C. Vision of Hope From the Coming One (Jesus)
Chapter Reference
Final triumph of Jerusalem
Coming mighty leader to be born in Bethlehem and to restore Israel
D. the Lord's Case Against Israel
Chapter Reference
6:1 thru 6:5
First complaint of God
6:6 thu 6:8
Israel's first reply
6:9 thru 6:16
Second complaint of God
7:1 thru 7:10
Israel's second reply-a confession of sin
7:11 thru 7:17
Israel's promised victory
7:18 thru 7:20
Doxology: The triumph of grace

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