Book Review: The Twelve (Parker Bradley)
Welcome to February’s 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.
If you haven’t heard the introduction episode, go ahead and do that - it only takes a few minutes and will explain what the plan is going forward. We covered the chapter on Jonah, last month, and are covering the chapter on Micah, in this episode.
Parker does an excellent job of presenting an overview, with key details of the final days of the northern kingdom of Israel, in the context of, “a bitter end but also a new beginning. Deepest sorrow, greatest joy.”
Parker shares his initial reaction to the book of Micah. I like his honest admission of the process he went through when reading Micah. Like Isaiah, I found Micah intense from the start, but Micah is only seven chapters long, as opposed to Isaiah that is 66 chapters.
The thread that runs through this chapter on Micah is what stands out in Micah’s book: God is merciful, God is just. God is faithful to the covenant He made to His people - at a great cost, because of his unfailing, unconditional love.
I like the rich history of the kings Parker gives behind the books of the prophets. There is a lot of material to go through when studying the kings. Parker’s overview is refreshing and very helpful when understanding the context of the messages of the prophets.
Parker also has some great reflection on Hezekiah’s reign, how it was so different than his father’s reign and how it made a huge impact in world history - because Hezekiah was faithful and obedient to the Lord.
I like Parker’s request, in the midst of this chapter, to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, suffering under similar oppressive leadership.
Parker gives a great overview of the things that led to the disconnect between God and His people. He speaks of how things can look on a superficial level, what we want people to see, and how God can see everything, outside and inside. Parker consistently connects the mentality Micah spoke of to the modern church, which makes me think of 2 Tim 3:16-17:
6 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Parker asks: How do respond when God wants us to open the door of our heart? Are we afraid of what God will see?
Parker effectively wraps all the events of Micah around this conclusion from Micah 1:9 - The wound is incurable.
Parker has an excellent section about what it really means to lament, using Psalm 34:18 and Psalm 10: 1,3,10,12,17-18 as examples. He looks at the lament of the prophet Micah 1:8: Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.
We get a heart wrenching overview of Micah’s lament - stricken to the soul for God’s people who were in full rebellion. I reflected on the difference between Micah’s reaction and the prophet Jonah, who we covered last month. Jonah wanted to see the destruction. He didn’t want God to have mercy. Micah was grieved over the judgement that was to come to God’s people.
There is another excellent section on how Micah was chosen to give a tough message and was not popular because of this, but rose to his call anyway, due to his faith and relationship with God.
Parker covers how worship is detestable to God when God’s moral law is abandoned and people act like enemies of God. This remind me of my daily Bible verse today: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:4-6
Parker asks the question, “Which road are you on?” and speaks of the role of the Holy Spirit when we are willing to follow the Lord.
Parker ties together sin, rebellion, hope and God’s mercy and love, in the backdrop of a rebellious spiritual nation and a chosen prophet who, through his faith, was not afraid to be the messenger or present when judgement arrived. Parker gives a thorough overview of the moral mess in the northern (and southern) kingdom and Micah’s focus on the people who thought they were above God, simply because they had money and power - these people included the prophets of God, who spoke false prophecies, just to make money and tell people what they wanted to hear, so that they would remain popular. These are people who God turned away from. Parker references Micah 3:7 - a very powerful verse! There would be no answer from God when they called because their foundation was built on theft and oppression.
Parker asks: Do we get in the way of God’s blessings for our lives? Do we put our strength where we should - in Jesus, or do we try to solve our own problems, without prayer and struggle through our problems? What do we need to get rid of in order to put God first and not have Him as an add on. What idols do we need to give up to be born again, to a new life in Christ, without holding back?
Parker does a great job at highlighting what is always present: hope. He references Isaiah 43:18-19 - 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
He draws out the verses of prophesy about the coming Messiah and those that seem to point to Jesus’ second coming. He hinted at the beginning that there would be opportunity to say “Hallelujah!” - and here it was! God’s clear answer for what we need to have, for hope to reign: Humility, fairness and to love mercy. I matched these words next to each commandment during my reflection
Parker’s chapter om Micah is thorough and extensive. I was left with these thoughts
God’s redeems His people despite their iniquities, because He delights in mercy.
God protects His people, despite their iniquity, because He delights in mercy
God eliminates the enemies of His people - because God is just. So no one gets to gloat when His people have to suffer due to their iniquities. I have been thinking about this while reading Micah and it is a lot to digest, how merciful God is, to a rebellious people, because God is just!
This is one of those reviews when there was so much to say about the review that you risk turning it into a discussion. There is a lot to unpack, discuss and reflect on from the short book of Micah, which is reflected in Parker’s chapter.
I encourage you to listen to it yourself, but like me, be prepared to revisit the book of Micah many times to grasp all that is going on.
I listened to The Twelve via www.audible.com
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
Book and thumbnail source: www.audible.com