Minor Prophets

Why Bethlehem? - Luke 2:1-7; Micah 5:2-5


Date:  12/11/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Why Bethlehem?
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7; Micah 5:2-5

Description:  Micah promised that a ruler to come, Israel’s Messiah, would emerge from Bethlehem, and a basic piece of the Christmas story is Jesus’s fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy. But why is Bethlehem so important? Bethlehem’s significance has everything to do with the kingdom of God, and with the goal of that kingdom, the glory of God.

Why John The Baptist? - Luke 1; Malachi 3-4


Date:  12/04/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Why John The Baptist?
Scripture: Luke 1; Malachi 3-4

Description:  Luke begins his story of Jesus’s life not with Jesus but with the announcement and birth of another character, John the Baptist. Why was he so important? The answer has everything to do with an ancient story, a story left off by the Minor Prophets and picked up here by Luke.

Pride, Humility, And True Security - Zephaniah


Date:  10/30/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Pride, Humility, And True Security
Scripture: Zephaniah

Description:  …this point, illustrates how God’s roles as Judge and Redeemer are both guided by a single goal: to vindicate his name as the one true Lord. He will reveal his true identity once and for all by exposing those who proudly believe they can do better elsewhere, and by perfectly meeting the needs of those humble enough to rest everything on him.

The Wonderfully Counterintuitive Love Of God - Malachi


Date:  11/20/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Wonderfully Counterintuitive Love Of God
Scripture: Malachi

Description:  “I have loved you”—so begins God’s communication with his people in this final book of the Old Testament. It’s a fitting summary of the story of God’s dealings with Israel to that point. But Malachi is essentially a disputation between God and unbelieving Israel over whether and how he had loved them. If the prophets dramatize the character of God for us, this prophet illustrates what God’s love is like, and it isn’t what Israel or we would expect. God’s love is free, it’s steadfast, it’s inviting, and it’s self-centered—all of which makes for wonderfully good news.

Peace, Purity, And The Pierced Priest-King - Zechariah


Date:  11/13/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Peace, Purity, And The Pierced Priest-King
Scripture: Zechariah

Description:  Though cloaked in often mysterious prophetic imagery, Zechariah’s message offers a beautiful elaboration on the coming kingdom, of God’s promise to deliver his people from threats on the outside—their enemies—and on the inside—their sin. And in a couple key passages, Zechariah suggests this deliverance will be accomplished by an unprecedented divine ruler, a priest-king.

Great Expectations - Haggai


Date:  11/06/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Great Expectations
Scripture: Haggai

Description:  When the people of Israel first returned to Jerusalem after the exile, what they found was a far cry from what they had hoped for. Haggai confronted their disillusionment, recasting their expectations and calling for trust in the faithfulness of God. His message gives us insight into how Jesus fulfills the hope of the prophets, and what it looks like for us to live as if God’s promises are true.

Wrath And Refuge - Nahum


Date:  10/16/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Wrath And Refuge
Scripture: Nahum

Description:  Nahum is a book of shocking images. They are images that challenge our common notions of what God is like, that challenge our tendency to flatten the character of God. They are images that show us clearly that God is against all evil, that make us ask whether God is against us. And they are images meant to send us running to Jesus.

He Is Our Peace - Micah


Date:  10/09/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  He Is Our Peace
Scripture: Micah

Description:  Like so many of the Minor Prophets, Micah focuses on coming judgment and promises a kingdom of peace and security on the other side of judgment. But Micah is unique in his focus on leadership. Israel’s unfaithful leaders led to the nation’s downfall. So who would lead them (and us) to peace?

Embracing The Wideness Of God's Mercy - Jonah


Date:  10/02/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Embracing The Wideness Of God's Mercy
Scripture: Jonah

Description:  Jonah is a powerful story celebrating the extent of God’s mercy that reaches even to the enemies of his people. But even more, it is an ironic and witty satire exposing the foolishness and hypocrisy of Jonah. The story contrasts, on one hand, Jonah’s experience of God’s mercy when he deserved to die for his disobedience; and, on the other hand, Jonah’s burning resentment when Ninevah receives the same mercy he enjoyed. The key question for us: how can we avoid Jonah’s hypocrisy?

The Kingdom Shall Be The Lord's - Obadiah


Date:  09/25/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Kingdom Shall Be The Lord's
Scripture: Obadiah

Description:  In the wake of their exile, and especially given their treatment at the hands of their enemy Edom, Israel had to wonder whether the promises of God would come to nothing. Obadiah prophesied against Edom, but his was a message Israel was meant to overhear. It’s a message meant to encourage them and all who have ever had cause to doubt whether God could deliver on his promises.

Injustice, Idolatry, And Jesus - Amos


Date:  09/18/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Injustice, Idolatry, And Jesus
Scripture: Amos

Description:  A contemporary of Hosea, Amos prophesied to dispel Israel’s mistaken assumption that sin and judgment were someone else’s problem. Amos is unique among the prophets for his emphasis on Israel’s exploitation of the weak and vulnerable. His words, full of beauty and laced with satire, help us understand why God takes injustice personally. And they help us understand why Jesus is the only hope for the unjust.

The Day Of The Lord And The Call To Repentance - Joel


Date:  09/11/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Day Of The Lord And The Call To Repentance
Scripture: Joel

Description:  Like so many of the Minor Prophets, Joel is a book of warning. He speaks especially of a coming “Day of the Lord,” a decisive and terrible day when everyone opposed to God’s rule will be destroyed. That has never been a fashionable message, perhaps never less so than now. But what if Joel is right? How could we avoid our share in that judgment?

Spiritual Adultery and the Relentless Love of God - Hosea


Date:  09/04/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Spiritual Adultery and the Relentless Love of God
Scripture: Hosea

Description:  Hosea offers one of the Bible’s most vivid illustrations of the nature of sin: sin boils down to spiritual adultery, rejecting God’s love in favor of other options. But Hosea offers just as vivid an illustration of redemption in the face of judgment, what one author has called “an anticipation in pageant form of Christ’s story.”