Majoring in the Minors

by James Rafferty  |  August 27, 2018

They are called the Minor Prophets because of their size, not their spiritual depth. Hidden in these little books of the Old Testament are found sublime pictures of God’s unrelenting love. That’s why this year we plumbed their depths to mine rich nuggets of God’s golden love that promises to keep our love alive in every crisis.

Some 800 people and 150 young people joined us this year for Light Bearers Ministry’s 34th annual convocation. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit was there to fulfill God’s promises to build hope, faith, and love.

By the first week in July, everything was set to jump into a deeply rewarding five-day study of the Minor Prophets. Twelve books, twelve prophets, stretching over a 400-year period from the pre-exilic period of the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel to the post-exilic period (from about 800 BC to 400 BC). With the exception of Jonah, Nahum, and Obadiah, these minor prophets spoke to the tribes of Israel. The messages were of judgment, hope, and salvation.

These minor prophets not only spoke for God, they spoke of God. Every book, each solemn message, contains a seed of salvation, a proclamation of God’s everlasting love. The title of this article, “Majoring in the Minors,” emphasizes this point. Their books may be small, but the minor prophets delivered a big message. Meeting by meeting, day by day, it became evident that these books held within them deep spiritual nuggets designed to direct us to our Savior.

In Hosea, Messiah is presented as the Son of God (11:1; Matthew 2:15), as the only Savior of His people (13:4; John 14:6), as the One who will ransom us from the dead (13:14; 1 Corinthians 15:55), as the One who loves us with great compassion (11:4), and as the One who heals those who will return to Him (6:1).

Every book, each solemn message, contains a seed of salvation, a proclamation of God’s everlasting love.

In Joel, Christ is presented as the One who will give the Holy Spirit (2:28; John 16:7-15; Acts 1:8), who judges the nations (3:2, 12), and who is the refuge and stronghold of Israel (3:16).

Amos presents Christ as the One who would restore His people (9:11-15).

Christ is seen in Obadiah as the Judge of the nations (15-16) and the Savior of His people (17-20).

Through Jonah, Christ’s resurrection is portrayed (Matthew 12:40). He is also seen as a prophet and Savior of the nations.

Micah presents Christ as the God of Jacob (4:2), the Judge of the nations (4:3), and the Ruler who would be born in the city of Bethlehem (5:2; Matthew 2:1-6).

Nahum portrays the Lord as slow to anger and a stronghold in times of trouble (1:3, 7).

Habakkuk portrays Christ as the Savior. The root word for Salvation in Habakkuk 3:13 and 18 is the same root word from which the name “Jesus” is derived (Matthew 1:21). He is the One who justifies the righteous by faith (Habakkuk 2:4) and the One who will one day fill the earth “with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (2:14).

John the Baptist later fulfills this prophecy and thus bridges the connection between the Minor Prophets and the New Testament…

Zephaniah presents Christ as the Mighty Savior who rejoices over us with love and singing (3:17).

Haggai portrays Messiah as the Restorer (2:7-9) and the Overthrower of the kingdoms of the world (2:22).

Perhaps no Old Testament book is more messianic than Zechariah. In one chapter, one of the saved asks Christ, “What are these wounds in Thine hands?” (Zechariah 13:6, KJV). This text reminds us that many will be saved who knew nothing of His crucifixion.

Malachi is the prelude to 400 years of unbroken prophetic silence. It foretells the “Sun of righteousness” who will come with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). Malachi also predicts the coming of the messenger who will clear the way before the Lord (3:1; Isaiah 40:3). John the Baptist later fulfills this prophecy and thus bridges the connection between the Minor Prophets and the New Testament, breaking the 400-year silence with the words, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

That is a brief summary of this year’s convocation. If you missed it, you can still receive a blessing. The messages are all available on DVD and CD.

May the Minor Prophets be a major blessing in your life-walk with God and our Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Amen.

James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers
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