Freed-Hardeman Lectures, 2011 – Day One

Freed-Hardeman seemed like home as the snow began to fall on the first day of the 75th annual Bible Lectureship. The first lesson in the main series track was from Justin Rogers. His topic was “The Minor Prophets: The Messengers.” It was a fine introduction to the Minor Prophets. It was followed by David Pharr’s companion lecture “The Minor Prophets: The Message.”

If the remainder of the lectures follow suit then we will hear the common formula of indictment – punishment – promise to Israel, Judah and the surrounding nations. It should be well worth the time to listen to these discussions.

One point that I had never considered was mentioned by Rogers and Pharr. The times of the prophetic work of the Minor Prophets might extend decades while for some a brief period as short as a few months seemed to limit their work. The written message is brief and easily read in a matter of minutes but their work among the nations extended far longer. For example, Hosea’s work extended across the tenure of four kings of Judah and one of the northern tribes. His work likely exceeded 40 years of preaching. These men were not generally “shooting stars” who arose quickly and vanished away. Instead they were hard working men who brought a powerful message. That message spans the ages.

The mid-day address was offered by Chris Coil. His assigned topic was Jonah 4:11 and was entitled “Compassion for All.” Coil reminded the listeners that the same issues faced by Jonah and the other prophets were similar to those today. A reading of the Minor Prophets will enlighten our understanding of the present world in which we live and engage the modern preacher in the same work as that of the ancients.

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