Book Review: The Twelve by Parker Bradley (Zechariah)
Welcome to our monthly book review for, The Twelve- A Transformational Journey Through The Minor Prophets, by Parker Bradley. Drawing from the insights of the Minor Prophets in the Bible, The Twelve, is an encouraging, but also challenging resource for followers of Jesus, and anyone wanting to honestly understand how God reveals Himself in Scripture.
We covered the chapter on Haggai last month, and are covering the chapter on Zechariah, in this episode.
Parker starts out with this great hope - this fact - that God, as he puts it, wants us to know about Him.
He references John 14:1-2 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Parker focuses on God’s character and His wishes for a relationship with us - revealed through His word.
Parker mentions 1 Peter 3:18: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
Parker gives an excellent comparison of Haggai and Zechariah, who prophesied at the same time. We get thorough reflections of the reason why God’s people wanted to return to Him. What was their motivation? What is our motivation for seeking God?
Parker asks his usual thought provoking questions, encouraging the listener to search their reasons for their belief.
I really liked how Parker approached the visions that God gave Zechariah - eight visions in all, one after the other. He gives an informative overview and commentary for all of the visions, then focuses on the fourth vision about the high priest, Joshua. Parker gives useful information about the Hebrew text concerning Joshua’s filthy clothing, giving a vivid picture of the state of mankind, represented in Joshua’s garments.
Parker didn’t waste time in comparing this image to our lives and the redemption and salvation we have in Christ, through God’s grace. An excellent passage, back by the following scripture.
John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Colossians 3:9 - Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
Parker does an excellent reflection on Chapter Seven, when Israel ask the priests if they needed to continue to fast like they did during their exile. He uses the right amount of humour and short commentary to fully address the meaning behind the people’s question to God and the dangers of empty religious expression or tradition. I like how Parker uses Francis of Assisi as an example of religious expression motivated by love for God. It reminded me of the film about Francis of Assasi Brother Son, Sister Moon -a really well made film that highlighted Francis’ love for the Lord.
Towards the end of the chapter, Parker has some additional reflection on fasting and self reflection. I really liked how he asked where all the self reflection we are encouraged to do really leads to?
Hope for the future is lifted up, through Chapter nine and onwards - powerful chapters filled with verses about the coming Messiah, who comes in peace.
I like how Parker reflects on the difficulty of some of the chapters. I find a good deal of Zechariah difficult to understand, but the parts I do understand bring me tremendous hope and increase my love and trust in the Lord. The fulfillment of scripture is overwhelming and makes me want to repeat Revelation 22:20 - Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Each chapter of The Twelve is a must read for those who wish to delve into the books of the minor prophets, which prove to be minor only in length of their accounts, certainly not minor regarding the message of hope they relay from the Almighty God of Israel.
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
Book and thumbnail source: www.audible.com