I used to think the Prophets whether today or in the Bible were all about people of God who “predicted the future.” BUT……that is not the WHOLE picture and sometimes it has NOTHING to do with “predicting the future.” In case you missed the list of kings I placed on the blog a couple of days ago which also included which prophets spoke to those kings and exactly who the prophets were speaking to (in addition to the kings)…you might want to take a look at that. The chart I am currently speaking of is in color blocks. There is also another list of the Kings of Israel and of Judah and if they were good or bad along with the years they ruled.
My mentor last year wrote the following about the books of the prophets. She has studied this a lot and I felt it would be best simply to share what she wrote. It helped me A LOT in my growth process…..and still does. Trish if you happen to be reading this thank you for allowing me to share your words!! Everyone else… I pray you will be greatly blessed by what she had to say.
“A Prophecy is a message from God, and a Prophet is the person who delivers the message. There are 17 Prophecy books. That does not mean there were only 17 Prophets. Actually, there have been hundreds. Originally the term prophet was used for military and judicial leadership, for example Moses and Deborah. Then it was used from people who heard directly from the Lord, like Samuel. During the Monarchy they became advisers to the Kings (like Nathan to David), and now we read this week , this era is filled with prophets like Elijah and Obadiah, even ones hiding in caves . Which I thought to myself, if they were a Prophet, didn’t they know this was going to happen? Which proves my point…a prophet is a messenger not a Crystal Ball Reader.
So there are 2 Categories of Prophets
What is the difference? One is major and the other is minor! (Just Kidding). It has NOTHING to do with importance (which I thought) it has to do with size of the book. The Minor books may be short but POWERFUL! SO don’t get up into Heaven and try to meet the Major Prophets first and snub the Minors. They are equal in importance of the message. God’s word is Sovereign, Supreme and Ultimate regardless of the length of the message.
The period of the Prophets that recorded books (17) cover about 500 years which were the Dark Ages of God’s Chosen people. The Prophets were men whom God raised up during the dark days of Israel’s history. The Prophets’ job was to deal with moral and religious problems and disobedience. Sometimes a Prophet would speak of judgment of current sin and sometimes he would speak of the future if that was the message God gave him to speak. The message of the Bible is timeless and just as applicable today as it was the day it was written. (God knew what He was writing) So are these books relevant today??
They are the message of God
Written through real life experience
Speaks of human nature
Uhhhh I would say Yes! The Prophecy books take up the same amount of “space” in the Bible as the New Testament. I would say God thinks of them as pretty important.
So in conclusion, we know the Babylonian Exile (captivity) is coming up, so the Prophets can be divided into 3 categories: Pre-captivity, during captivity, and after captivity. We would also divide them as to who the Prophet is addressing.
So the Prophets BEFORE the exile in Chronological order are Obadiah (so guess what we will be reading next), Joel, Jonah (cannot wait for the Big fish Big God story) Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah (not the bullfrog).
The Prophets DURING the exile (or captivity in Babylon) are Ezekiel and Daniel.
The Prophets AFTER the return are Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi. (All Judah)
The Prophets were fearless men who denounced the sins of their day. We are judged individually and collectively as a Nation. So on the heels of hearing Jermaine Jackson say in his interview “May Allah be with you always Michael”. It matters collectively what we believe, for we our nation is under judgment!”
Sharing HIS love,