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Faith Alive! | Issue 113

In Faith Alive! this issue:

  • Editorial
  • Dating the Minor Prophets
  • The themes of the Prophets
  • A nation divided
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Minor Prophets Study Guide
  • Meal-a-Day
  • RTGAA? What do Christadelphians believe?
  • Psalm 113 – Praising God for deliverance
  • Minor Prophets Crossword

A sample article from this edition:

Editorial

The ultimate ending

It is sometimes said the best things come in small packages.

When a chef wants to intensify a flavour they will ‘reduce’ the stock or sauce – they will ‘boil it down’. This means there is more intensity in less volume; there is more power to the flavour in a smaller package. This is the ‘Minor Prophets’ – power-packed flavour-filled small packages of God’s message of hope and warning to His people.

And that includes us.

The twelve ‘Minor Prophets’ are only minor by virtue of their size. The longest book of the twelve is Zechariah (which although it has the same number of chapters as Daniel, is almost half the size) and the shortest is Obadiah (with only 670 words in the KJV – like some of the articles in this magazine!). The parable of the grain of mustard seed is a warning not to judge by size; Jesus likens the kingdom of God to it – growing to become “greater than all the herbs” (Mark 4:30-32).

The size of the books belies the fact that many of the prophets prophesied over a great number of years. So, in some instances, the parts of the message they gave which are recorded are the distilling of a lot of faithful service to God. The prophets may well have said a great deal more about God, His message, His plan – but what we have recorded is what has been chosen for our benefit and spiritual learning.

When we remember this about these faithful men, it should cause us to question:

  • How much of our conversation is about God, His message, His Son?
  • How much of our lives are about benefiting others?
  • How much are our lives about learning spiritual things?
  • Which bits of our lives and conversations would be worth recording, if any?

The teachings of the prophets can be a real challenge to get our heads around. They require a heart which is willing to persevere and which is receptive to appreciate complex flavours and condensed power of thought. The reward of diligence is like having your own personal Michelin star chef who has created flavour-packed dishes of food, beautifully presented, enticingly aromatic and a delight to eat – who would refuse to eat such a banquet?

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103, ESV)

Edward Carr

 

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