12 books of Minor Prophets are not minor in message

Published 8:14 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve tried with great diligence to study the Old Testament but I go into a daze. I desire to learn about the end times but am weighed down with things like the Minor Prophets, the numbers, the difficult names, and genealogies. Why the detail? I’m a Christian and understand the Gospel but to unlock the key to actual “study” is daunting. – B.R.

Dear B.R.: Studying names and numbers in Scripture is boring to some, but they carry an interesting significance. Consider the number 12 – an eternal number. From Genesis to Revelation we learn of the 12 patriarchs, 12 sons, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 judges, 12 gates, 12 stones, 12 fruits, 12 angels, 12 apostles, 12 stars, and a heavenly city 12,000 furlongs square.

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The Bible also tells us that after Jesus’ birth, nothing more is revealed about Him until He reached the age of 12, when His first words on Earth are recorded. Jesus told those who had been looking for Him, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49, NKJV). This number is also foreshadowed when 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel will be saved to once again evangelize the world in the last days.

Anticipation builds as the 12 Minor Prophets bring the Old Testament to a close and the New Testament begins revealing the truth that “eternity” is coming to Earth. His Name is Jesus. The 12 books of Minor Prophets are not minor in message, but in terms of brevity only, and are power-packed messages from prophets whom God appointed and called to deliver His warnings of judgments and His ever-faithful invitation saying, “Return to Me.” They provide an important study for those who desire to understand the end times. The Holy Spirit is the teacher and empowers us to comprehend God’s truths.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)