Two years ago I was invited to teach the high school Sunday school class at BICF over the summer. I was given free reign to choose whatever topic I liked. (Someone was obviously feeling brave!) I wrote a 7-part Bible study on the Minor Prophets. This summer we will be featuring the full Minor Prophets study on the Youth in Asia blog.
Please do not use this study in a group setting without my permission. If you are interested in doing this study with your own group, send an email to youthnasia dot china at gmail dot com – I’d be happy to send you a printable pdf version of the study (all formatted nicely with spaces to write thoughts and answer questions). While I am happy for the study to be used in this manner, it is not intended for wide distribution and permission is not given for it to be sold in any format. Please email me if you have any questions about this.
Writing this study was a wonderful experience – intellectually challenging and spiritually stimulating. Most of all, I delighted in sharing it with a bunch of AWESOME kids. We had some amazing discussions (like the Starbucks offering vs the water bottle) and I was really encouraged and challenged by them as we dug into the word of God together. We also rarely finished all the material in our one hour study time ;)
With that out of the way, I present to you the first part of my Minor Prophets study. We begin with an introduction…
WHY THE MINOR PROPHETS?
I love the prophets.
I love the passion of God.
I love his power and majesty and mystery.
I love that his presence overwhelms, envelops, fills.
I love that sometimes he just makes NO SENSE to me.
I think what I love most about the Old Testament is that there is no mediator between God and man. Certain people acted as mediators between God and his people as a whole (Moses, the judges, the high priests, the prophets) but these were still mere mortals, who were sometimes just as overwhelmed and bamboozled as I find myself.
WHAT’S THE GOAL OF THE STUDY?
I have a few goals in writing this study.
I hope the basic historical background information will give you a frame of reference for understanding the messages.
I hope you will be inspired to spend more time reading the words of the prophets.
I hope you will see that certain themes are threaded throughout the Bible, from cover to cover.
Mostly, though, I pray that anyone who reads it will be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and find in the words of these prophets a treasure all their own – something to hang on to for years to come.
WHAT’S IN THE STUDY?
I have chosen six of the twelve minor prophets for this study. They are Obadiah, Joel, Zephaniah, Habakkuk. Haggai and Malachi. I’ve left out some AMAZING stories – I hope you will be inspired to go back and read the others some time in the future! Hosea is my favourite book of the Bible, Jonah has a message that humbles me every time I read it, and Zechariah is chock full of good stuff.
Each study starts with some background information, and then the book is broken into a few (3-6) parts. After you read the passage from the Bible, I’ve included some of my own thoughts, and then some questions to help you apply some of the themes of the book to your own life. After the questions I include an extra space for you to write down anything else you’re thinking – you may well discover something special that I haven’t written about at all!
We’ll be looking at the books in somewhat chronological order. We start with Obadiah and Joel, as they are the least reliably dated. As we go we’ll look at some history, to help us see how these books fit into the overall narrative of the Bible. I have filled each study with references to other passages of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation (literally!) and a whole lot in between. These references support and expand on the ideas I explore. I hope that you will be intrigued, interested, and WANT to learn more, but if that’s not the case for you, don’t feel you have to read every single reference.