The books of the minor prophets, often overlooked and ignored, actually have a great deal to say to people today, whether you are a follower of Jesus or not. In this message we begin our series entitled, "Major Messages from the Minor Prophets" by stepping into the book of Hosea, canonically the first of the twelve books of the minor prophets. What we are confronted with immediately is the reality of our unfaithfulness to the God who created us to be in a covenant relationship with him. Our unfaithfulness means judgment but even in the face of that pronouncement, a great note of hope is sounded loudly, pointing ultimately to Jesus, the one who came to save us from judgment and restore our relationship to God. In the opening chapter we witness the prophet Hosea who, in obedience to Yahweh, lives out symbolically the tragedy of God's relationship with his unfaithful people, the people of the northern tribes of Israel. Even Hosea's children are included in the symbolism that points to the ominous consequences of Israel's spiritual promiscuity. But even in the face of the wreckage of Israel's relationship to Yahweh we discover a hint of a great reversal that is yet to come, ultimately in the work of Jesus.
Through the book of Obadiah we are confronted with the reality that our relationships on the horizontal level have a profound and long-lasting impact on our lives. We see relational brokenness play out in the lives of individuals and of nations, and are challenged with the truth that God profoundly cares about our relationships horizontally, within families and within the human family more broadly. But he does not leave us to muck about in our brokenness. Through Christ he brings healing and he establishes a new family, a community in which we learn to live together in ways that please him, for his glory and for the advance of his kingdom.