The Day of the Lord

READ : Joel 1-3 The minor prophets used this term, “The day of the LORD,” frequently. Joel uses it five times in this brief book. He begins by speaking of a terrible plague of locusts which has either just happened or is soon to occur. The prophets were so sure that God’s predictions would come true that they sometimes spoke of the future as if it already happened. The day of the Lord is a great day of judgment, either …

Advice to Sinners

READ : Hosea 10-14 Sin is not just a few external actions. The basic problem is, “Their heart is false” (10:2). Sin is putting one’s trust in other things rather than in God: “you have trusted in your chariots” (10:13). Sin is breaking our relationship with God: “my people are bent on turning away from me” (11:7); “they forgot me” (13:6). God still loves sinners. Israel is his people, and though they have turned their backs on him, God has …

Wanted: Steadfast Love

READ : Hosea 6-9 The prophecy of Hosea teaches a truth which we also find in other parts of Scripture: our relationship to God is like our relationship to our marriage partner. Both relationships are covenant relationships, requiring dependable love on both sides, a love which does not waver, but which continues in the changing circumstances of life. God says to his people: “I desire steadfast love” (6:6). But the love of Israel for God was not that kind of …

Understanding with the Heart

READ : Hosea 1-5 Hosea is the first of the twelve minor prophets. They are called “minor,” not that they are unimportant, but because they wrote short books compared to the longer ones we have been studying. God’s heart was broken by the unfaithfulness of Israel. How could he prepare a prophet to describe how he felt? God used a drastic method. He commanded Hosea to marry a wife who would prove unfaithful, leaving him to become a prostitute. As …

Caught in the Middle

READ : Daniel 10-12 Daniel is given a revelation of what will happen during the period between the Old and New Testaments, when the Greek empire will break into four parts. One part would be centered in Syria (the kings of the north) and the other in Egypt (the kings of the south). The Jews would be caught in the middle, first ruled by the Egyptian Ptolemies, then by the Syrian Seleucids. One of the Syrian rulers, Antiochus Epiphanes, would …