Prophets Before the Exile
The Israelites were in trouble. And they had no one to blame but themselves. Rejecting God's instructions for abundant life lived close to him, they went their own way—a way of broken relationships, selfishness and idolatry.
Into the midst of Israel's self-caused chaos the prophets came, speaking words of truth and love from God. They weren't powerful or well-known or wealthy; in fact, they came from the fringes of society, from the ranks of those overlooked by most people but seen and deeply loved by God. And they were willing to be used by God, ready to listen for his voice, faithful to deliver it. They were also creative, using poetry and songs to deliver some of the hardest as well as most tender words of God recorded in Scripture.
Their message is one we desperately need today in the chaos of our world: Love God. Do justice. Live as God's beloved people, reflecting him to a world in need. This study will help you understand their messages to Israel in their own time and equip you to live prophetically and creatively as God's people today.
The Understanding the Books of the Bible series moves groups away from a typical Bible study format into a new approach to experiencing the Bible together. Instead of following artificial chapter and verse divisions, these study guides lead groups through whole books following their natural outlines and flow. They pose engaging questions for discussion with personal implications all along the way, leading to a community Bible experience.
How These Study Guides Are Different
Map of Israel and Judah in the Eighth Century BC
Timeline of the Prophets
1. Experiencing the Book of Amos as a Whole
2. Amos Announces God?s Judgment Against the Nations
3. Amos Describes His Mandate to Prophesy and Warns Israel of Judgment
4. Insincere Religion, Legal Injustice, and Economic Oppression Are Ruining Israel
5. Amos Describes His Visions from God and His Expulsion from Israel
6. Experiencing the Book of Hosea as a Whole
7. Hosea?s Love for His Wife Demonstrates God?s Love for His Unfaithful People
8. Hosea Accuses the Nation?s Leaders and Warns of Coming Judgment
9. God Finds Israel Guilty of Covenant-Breaking and Passes Sentence
10. God Recalls the Beginnings of His Relationship with Israel
11. Hosea Foretells Israel?s Destruction, Then Anticipates Its Restoration
12. Experiencing the Book of Micah as a Whole
13. Micah Warns Israel and Judah of Coming Judgment for Oppression
14. Micah Foresees a Worldwide Deliverance Beyond the Events of His Day
15. God?s Case Against the People and Micah?s Plea for Their Restoration
16. Experiencing Zephaniah as a Whole; Zephaniah?s Warning about the Day of the Lord
17. Zephaniah?s Oracles Against the Nations and His Vision of Jerusalem Restored
18. Experiencing the Book of Nahum as a Whole; Nahum?s Portrait of the Lord
19. Nahum Describes the Destruction of Nineveh
20. Experiencing the Book of Habakkuk as a Whole; Habakkuk?s Dialogue with the Lord
21. Five Woes Against the Wicked; Habakkuk?s Prayer