I had the privilege of reading The Message of the Twelve- hearing the voice of the minor prophets by Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Gary E. Yates.
This book will educate and intrigue you! It is a rich, in-depth look into the minor prophets of the old testament.
It reads much like a textbook that you might find in a theology class, but it is easy enough reading that anyone interested in digging deeper into the Old Testament will enjoy also.
The authors begin with explaining the historical context in which the prophets ministered and to which Kings. Sometimes when we read scripture we can forget that many of the authors were contemporaries and their recording of events each bare a different perspective.
The time period that this part of scripture spans is 770-430 B.C. During this time, God’s chosen people, Israel, spent most of their time in disobedience and rebellion to the Lord. God calls 12 men to prophesy His word of rebuke and promised judgement if they do not return to the Lord their God. He also communicates clearly the benefit and blessings they will receive for their repentance.
Without a little background, education and the discernment of the Holy Spirit, the minor prophets can be difficult to understand. Fuhr and Yates fill in the education part thoroughly. There is poetry, narrative, rich imagery, hyperbole, and metaphors held within these 12 book of the bible. The authors dive deep into each of the 12 books and discuss influences of the times and culture of people. They highlight the Lord’s heart of love, but furious jealousy for His people.
The authors conclude chapter one stating that the “historical period to which the Book of the Twelve belonged concluded without Israel ever experiencing the full restoration the Lord promised through His prophets.....despite the disappointing history of the prophets, their promises of salvation and restoration for Israel and the nations would not fail. The Lord would overcome even the unbelief of His own people to bring those promises to pass."
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” If we are to understand what God has for us in the rich history of the Old Testament, we need to get in the Word and read it. The bible is God’s breath on a page, His words to us. The Message of the Twelve is a wonderful companion when navigating Hosea through Malachi.