For years I have been using a yearly Bible reading plan that propels me through the major and minor prophets for the last few months of each year. A few years ago (and pretty much every year since) I found myself lost in the sea of imagery, language, and lessons that I didn’t have a clue about.
It is hard to love reading Scripture that seems so far away from life in the twenty-first century. There’s Ezekiel, the intrepid prophet. He was naked, cooked his food over dung, and lay on each of his sides for some time. There’s Jeremiah, the sorrowful man whom nobody in Israel listened to, but had not problem dragging him off to Egypt. There’s Hosea, who had to marry a prostitute, one he could not change (let that be a lesson, ladies and gentlemen). There’s Jonah who ran away, Daniel who went through the Babylonian wringer and came out on top, Isaiah who had to name his children some very complicated, symbolic names, Amos the shepherd, Haggai, Zephaniah, Nahum, Micah, and all the rest. Each prophet was sent by God during specific times and with specific messages about Israel’s faithlessness, disobedience, and idolatry.