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Major Truths From Minor Prophets: First Things First

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:6

Why are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel called Major Prophets and the other twelve prophets referred to as Minor Prophets? I ask this question every year as we begin fourth-grade Sunday school. Invariably the answer will be, “Because the major ones are the most important.”
As the year passes, the children come to understand that the minors are minor only because they are shorter. They range from fourteen chapters in both Hosea and Zechariah to little Obadiah with only one chapter.

We could say, “Good things come in small packages,” when referring to these twelve books. I decided about two years ago to add scriptures from these books to my memorization file. This week we are going to focus on major lessons from five of these verses.

God’s chosen people worshiped other gods and even offered their crops as sacrifices to them. They were unfaithful to God. They were murdering , stealing, lying, and committing other atrocities. Hosea was sent to warn them of God’s impending judgment.
Even though the Israelites were under the sacrificial system, God wanted them to know that the lambs and other burnt offerings were not as important as the mercy they showed others. Their relationship to Him and other people should take priority even over burnt sacrifices.

The lesson for us is that no matter what happens in our lives, God needs to come first. Our relationship with Almighty God is His desire and it should be ours. In the Ten Commandments He tells us that He is a jealous God. If we want to please Him we must put Him first.

Get up with God in the morning. Take Him to work or keep Him with you at home. Find joy in talking with Him. Put Him in your conversations with others. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Dear Father, May we keep You close and give You the honor and glory You deserve.

Janice Yandell

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