Obadiah’s message is related to two historical periods: Obadiah’s own times and the imminent threat of the nations’ captivity by Assyria and Babylon as well as its eventual restoration. Except in his case, Obadiah’s message was not to Israel or Judah but to Edom, and there was no hope of restoration for them.
Born of humble means, raised to work with his hands, rugged and unflappable, Amos became one of the most colourful personalities among the prophets. God’s severe predictions of judgment had to be delivered by a man who modelled that message.
Prophets like Isaiah were not rookies who carried out hit-or-miss pre-game chapel programs for a few teams in Judah. No, they were the real deal, sent and anointed by God to be trusted and revered.
Part of our created humanness is that we form natural emotional and psychological attachments to people and things. But when lose them—such as in the death of a loved one—we experience the process of grief.
Recently in Judah (the southern kingdom), a plague of locusts had devoured every green thing, leaving only desolation in their trail. Joel announced his conviction that God had sent the plague because of the sin of His people Judah. But Joel also announced hope beyond their present circumstance. His message is certainly needed today.
Hosea was a prophet to the 10 northern tribes called Israel. His contemporaries were Amos, Isaiah, Jonah, and Micah. Hosea’s was a pathetic, tragic life. In fact, few men in Scripture inspire such pity as Hosea.
I am convinced that few weapons are more important in fighting discouragement and difficulty these days than a good sense of humour. Laughter, stress, and worry cannot co-exist for long.
It is doubtful that any Old Testament prophet played a more significant role in the history of Israel than Daniel. Taken from his homeland while still a teenager (he was no more than 15) and pushed through a highly competitive crash course in a foreign culture, Daniel emerged as the premier prophet during the reigns of several monarchs of the captivity era.
When we discipline our children our words often speak louder than our actions. Yes, the rod stings and can hurt. But the wounds our words leave behind last far longer than any physical discomfort our children experience.
Stuart Briscoe chose an apt title for his little book on Ezekiel: All Things Weird and Wonderful. You can’t read the prophet Ezekiel’s writings three minutes without encountering the strange, the phenomenal, or the wonderful.