Inscribe the Word - September Scripture Writing Plan
This September, I am in awe that we are completing our gleanings from the Old Testament. In January of 2019, we started to write out treasures from every book of the Bible. Beginning with Genesis in January and finishing with Revelation in December, we have taken this season to write out gleanings from God’s Word. This month, we conclude the Old Testament with the Minor Prophets.
When I finished reading the Old Testament this month, I was in awe of one thing . . . How greatly I need a Savior. As you finish writing out verses from the Old Testament, I hope that you see the grace and mercy of our God to send Jesus to save us, deliver us, and set us free. It was a sobering moment for me as I closed the book on Malachi and opened Matthew.
A NOTE ABOUT THE PROPHETIC BOOKS
When categorizing the books of the Bible, you will find two divisions in the prophetic books of the Old Testament; major and minor prophets. Please note - this way of separating the books does not mean that certain prophets are better or more relevant than others. Isaiah’s message (major prophet) is no greater than Amos’ (minor prophet). Nahum’s prophecies (minor prophet) are no less important than Daniel’s (major prophet). This division of major and minor prophets has to do with the size and volume of their books and not the relevance of their message. All of these prophets are “major” prophets in the book of the Lord.
INSCRIBE THE WORD
If you haven’t participated in INSCRIBE THE WORD, we’d like to welcome you to this Bible Study. We started Inscribe the Word in 2016, and since that time thousands of men, women, and children all over the world are getting closer to Jesus and learning more about His Word through these simple plans. We are so incredibly blessed. You can read about why I started Inscribe the Word in this post. (I can guarantee you won’t believe the answer!)
We have compiled a list of all of our Inscribe the Word plans from past years into one ULTIMATE INSCRIBE THE WORD Post. We hope it gives you quick access to all of our previous plans. There are a lot of them!
WHY WRITE THROUGH THE BIBLE ?
This year we began a new series here at A Symphony of Praise called “READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR.” This plan is a minimalistic, simple, and efficient way to read the Bible in a year. (You can join us HERE) As I was praying about the direction for Inscribe the Word in 2019, I felt in my heart to go along with the reading plan as we WRITE THE BIBLE in a year. Now before you get nervous - no, we aren’t writing the entire Bible (although that is a dream of mine to accomplish!). We are taking gleanings out of the Scriptures and writing parts of the chapters.
The word glean means to collect bit by bit gradually. We are going to collect some of the key treasures out of the entire collection of sixty-six books of the Bible. It is going to be thrilling and exciting, and I cannot wait to start writing (and reading) the Word with you this year.
If you haven’t started reading the Bible straight through now is the perfect time to start! Download our free plan and start reading the New Testament with us in September!
GLEANINGS FROM The Poetic Books of the O.T.
In January, we started with the first two books of the Bible; Genesis and Exodus.
In February, we finished the Pentateuch, the Law, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
In March, we inscribed part one of the Historical books of the Old Testament.
In April, we inscribed part two of the Historical books of the Old Testament.
In May, we inscribed The Psalms.
In June, we finished the poetic books with Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
In July, we began the major Old Testament prophets with Isaiah and Jeremiah.
In August, we inscribed Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
This month, we turn our attention to the rest of the minor prophets of the Old Testament - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
An Important note
When reading the Bible, it is imperative that you read in context. You cannot pick and point out a verse and apply it to your life. You must understand the context surrounding the verse. The books of Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel contain prophecies for Israel and Judah. These prophecies do not apply to us today. HOWEVER, there are amazing spiritual truths to be found throughout these books that DO APPLY to us today. There are lessons that we can learn from the mistakes of Judah and Israel and the kings that ruled them. We see the attributes of God and His character throughout these books and as we know; our God does not change. We also see end-time prophecies and prophetic words, pictures, and foreshadowing of our Lord and Savior.
This is an extensive post due to the number of books we are covering. The majority are very short books, but still, there is a lot of information. Save this post to come back to for reference as you read through the Old Testament Minor Prophets.
THE BOOK OF HOSEA.
WHO: Hosea is the author of the book of Hosea. Not much is known of the prophet except that he prophesied during the same time as Isaiah and Micah. His prophesies were mostly directed to the people of Israel.
WHEN: Hosea prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. (Hosea 1:1). God gives Hosea these prophesies in the time covered in 2 Kings 15–20 and 2 Chronicles 26–32.
PURPOSE: Hosea’s entire life was a prophetic picture. When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, he told him to “a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry”. The purpose was to demonstrate that Israel (and Judah) “has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD.” (Hosea 1:2)
The theme running through Hosea is that of Israel’s adultery and God’s redeeming love for His people.
THE BOOK OF JOEL.
WHO: The Book of Joel was written by the prophet Joel, the son of Pethuel. Nothing is known of Joel except what is written in this book. He was writing for the people of Judah
WHEN: There is no specific date for the writing of the book of Joel. While scholars debate the actual date and timing, it is not needed to understand and grasp the message of this book.
WHERE: The original audience for the book of Joel was Judah; especially the faithful remnant.
PURPOSE: The vast theme of the Book of Joel is “The Day of the Lord”. While there is judgement and tribulation associated with the Day of the Lord, for those who are the faithful remnant, there is hope of restoration! Thank you, Lord!
THE BOOK OF AMOS.
WHO: Amos is the author of the book by his name. Much of what we know of Amos is found in this book. He was a sheepherder and a tender of sycamore fruit. (Amos 7:14) Yet, God called him to be a prophet among the nations. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God can call you for His glory!
WHEN: Amos prophesied in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. (Amos 1:1) You can read about the time covered in the book of Amos in 2 Kings 14:23 - 2 Kings 15:7.
WHERE: Almost prophesied to Israel, the Northern Kingdom.
THEME: The theme of Amos is the justice of God. The Israelites were confident that the Lord would judge their enemies and the surrounding nations. You can read that clearly in chapter 1 to chapter 2 verse 3. But what Israel didn’t expect is that God’s judgement would also be on them for their great sin. Starting in chapter 2 verse 5, we see God’s judgement on Israel for their great apostasy.
THE BOOK OF Obadiah.
WHO: Obadiah authored the book, but nothing is known about him except that He was God’s prophet. We do know that his name means “on who serves Yahweh”. That in itself tells a vast amount about his character.
WHEN: No exact date is given, but most scholars identify the date as halfway through the Babylonian exile.
WHERE: Obadiah is prophesying to Judah and the Edomites. The Edomites, you may remember, are the ancestors of Esau. At the birth of these two nations, there was fighting and struggling (Genesis 25:22-26). That aggressive nature continued throughout the history of Jacob’s descendants, Israel, and Esau’s descendants, Edom.
THEME: The purpose of Obadiah is to show that God is going to defend His people. It is a comfort to Judah and to all believers that God will restore. It also brings a warning to Edom and to the enemies of the Lord that there will be judgement for aggression against His people.
THE BOOK OF JONAH.
WHO: The author of this book is not mentioned, but history gives its writing to Jonah the prophet.
WHEN: Most scholars agree that the book of Jonah was given during the reign of Jeroboam II who ruled in Israel. You can read the account in 2 Kings 14:23–28.
WHERE: Israel, Joppa, Ninevah.
THEME: God’s compassion is not just for “us” - the believers or the Israelites in Jonah’s case. But His compassion reaches to “them” - the unbelievers, the Gentiles, and in Jonah’s case the pagan sailor’s and Ninevites.
THE BOOK OF MICAH.
WHO: The author of this book is Micah. His name means “who is like God”. Micah prophesied both to Israel and to Judah.
WHEN: Micah prophesied during the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Micah 1:1) The time covered in this book can be found in 2 Kings 16-20 and 2 Chronicles 17-32.
WHERE: This book of prophesy was for Israel, the capital being Samaria. It was also for Judah, the capital being Jerusalem.
THEME: The theme is God’s judgement, but also His forgiveness. The same Righteous Judge is also the Good Shepherd whose heart is to restore His people.
THE BOOK OF NAHUM.
WHO: The author of this book is Nahum. His name means “comfort”. This book of prophesy does exactly what his name implies; Brings comfort to Judah.
WHEN: The Book of Nahum was most likely written after c. 660 B.C. and before 630.
WHERE: The prophesies in this book are addressed to Judah as a message of comfort. But also the people of Ninevah.
THEME: The purpose of the book was similar to Obadiah’s message concerning Edom. Nahum announced that the capital of the Assyrian Empire, Nineveh, would be destroyed.
Nahum is the sequel to the book of Jonah. Jonah went to Ninevah to warn about God’s judgement. To his surprise, they listened and repented. That repentance didn’t last long, however, when Tiglath-pileser III took the throne.
THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK.
WHO: The author of this book is Habakkuk. Not much is known of this prophet except that his name means “Embracer/To Embrace”. And Habakkuk definitely had an intimate relationship with the Lord as depicted in his name.
WHEN: There is no specific date given for the book of Habakkuk.
AUDIENCE: The book of Habakkuk is unique among the prophetic books of the Old Testament. While it is written for the people of Judah, the book is a dialogue between God and Habakkuk and Judah is not speifically addressed.
THEME: Habakkuk is similar to Job in that he questions God’s justice. By the end of the book, however, his heart is changed and he fully embraces His Creator. Habakkuk realizes that God works all things for His glory. It is a book that teaches us that even though we may not understand the ways of the Lord, we must completely rely on Him.
THE BOOK OF Zephaniah.
WHO: The prophecies from the Lord are delivered to Zephaniah and he is the author of the book. He is writing for the people of Judah.
WHEN: Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of Josiah, one of the most significant kings in Judah’s history. You an find the history of Zephaniah’s prophecies in 2 Kings 21:26–23:20 and 2 Chron. 33:25–35:27. Jeremiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk also prophesied during this time period.
THEME: Like many before him, Zephaniah prophesied the Day of the Lord. Israel had already been exiled, but Judah had not learned from the northern kingdoms mistakes. Zephaniah announced that the Day of the Lord was coming and it would be a time of blessing for God’s faithful remnant and judgement for His enemies.
THE BOOK OF HAGGAI.
WHO: Nothing is known of Haggai, the author of this book, except that his name means “festive” and he was a prophet of the Lord.
WHEN: Haggai prophesied during the second year of King Dairus’ reign. (Haggai 1:1) God gives these words to Haggai during the time covered in Ezra chapters 5 and 6.
THEME: The theme of this book is the restoration of the Lord’s house. God’s house symbolizes His presence, thus relationship with Him. This is a powerful book and one that bears many truths and lessons for us today about our own relationship with the Lord!
THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH.
WHO: Zechariah is the author of this book and a prophet of the Lord. He was a priest and a member of a prominent priestly family who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel. You can read about his return in Nehemiah 12:4.
WHEN: Zechariah prophesied during the same time as Haggai. They were contemporaries. You can read the time covered by these prophecies in Ezra 5 and 6.
AUDIENCE: The Jews in Jerusalem that had returned from the Babylonian exile
THEME: John MacArthur provides a beautiful explanation of this books theme that I’d like to share with you. He says, “This book is the most messianic, apocalyptic, and eschatological in the OT. Primarily, it is a prophecy about Jesus Christ, focusing on His coming glory as a means to comfort Israel (cf. 1:13, 17). While the book is filled with visions, prophecies, signs, celestial visitors, and the voice of God, it is also practical, dealing with issues like repentance, divine care, salvation, and holy living. Prophecy was soon to be silent for more than four hundred years until John the Baptist, so God used Zechariah to bring a rich, abundant outburst of promise for the future to sustain the faithful remnant through those silent years.”
THE BOOK OF MALACHI.
WHO: This final book of the Old Testament closes the historical and prophetic volume with the prophecies of Malachi given by God to the author. Malachi means, “my messenger”.
WHEN: No clear date is given for the book of Malachi. However, most scholars believe him to be a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah and most likely gave these prophesies at that time.
AUDIENCE: The Jews in Jerusalem that had returned from the Babylonian exile
THEME: Malachi basically gives a wake-up call to the people of Jerusalem encouraging them to restore their relationship with The Lord and to get rid idolatry. It is a book about learning to live in light of God’s love.
If you made it to the end of this post, know that I am giving you a standing ovation! That was a big one with a lot of information about the upcoming books we are inscribing. I hope it has been beneficial to you as you study the Word this month. As always, my prayer is that you see Jesus in the Old Testament.