Author: Ansley F. Rash
The 12 books of the Minor Prophets contain an outline of the Divine Plan for our nation and reveal the end from the beginning.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION
The Old Testament writings generally referred to as the Minor Prophets are apt to be neglected by students of Scripture. This is a pity because each one of the twelve books has a stirring message for our day and generation and amply repays careful and prayerful study. Incidentally it might be well to point out that the minor prophets are so called because their books are shorter than those of the Major Prophets and not because they are of lesser importance.
The significance of prophecy needs re-emphasis in these days of confusion and chaos. It contains an outline of the Divine plan and purpose for our nation and the world in general; it reveals the end from the beginning increases faith and gives much-needed courage and confidence for the future. Prophecy fulfilled in history clearly indicates that God in heaven and not blind chance over-rules the destiny of mankind.
In studying the prophetic writings of the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New certain vital points should be borne in mind.
There is almost always a first and then a final fulfilment of each prophecy. It is essential therefore to know something of the historical background of the message given.
In the vast majority of cases the prophet first sketches the outline of events and then fills in the details. Hence in order to understand the prophecy it is necessary to fit the latter into the pattern provided by the former.
Many prophecies are capable of a literal and also a spiritual interpretation and so when studying it is necessary to discover this by a careful consideration of the context. If there is any doubt it is always wiser to accept the literal rendering.
In considering the future it is well to remember all those prophecies that have already been fulfilled because the past is often the explanation of the present and the key to the future.
In presenting these outlines the author had a deep conviction that they might lead to a deeper understanding and a fuller appreciation of what is surely one of the most remarkable portions of the sacred Canon of Scripture.