Preaching Articles

After three days of reflections on a great series from Daniel, here are a few reasons why I personally love to preach from the prophets:

1. They are less familiar.

This isn’t to suggest that sounding novel is a good thing, but it is nice to see people leaning forward once they get the sense that you are going to make clear something they may have avoided in their own personal studies.  Obviously there are the familiar parts—Isaiah 6, 40, 53, the first half of Daniel, Habakkuk, etc.  But there is plenty of relatively untouched ground in both the major and the minor prophets.

2. They are stunning communicators.

The prophets had to get attention.  They couldn’t even be normal, let alone dull.  As a communicator it is a bit of a dream to be able to tap into the creativity of the truly shocking, without taking any real flack for the choice of approach.  If we let the genre, the tone, and the creativity of the prophets shape our preaching of them, we should see this as a real head-start!

3. They are robust and direct.  

You don’t have to go far in a prophet to get a sense of what God is feeling about things.  In the narrative sections you sometimes have to think and feel your way through multiple chapters for a single narrative.  In the prophets you’ll probably get struck on the nose within a few verses.  The prophets were, by definition, stunning communicators.  They had to be, since the people were so often so dull of hearing.  This leads on to another…

4. There are cultural similarities.

I don’t want to overplay the “Christian nation” ideas that some seem so passionate about, but there is a real sense in which our cultures have slipped from what they once were.  People taking God for granted or treating Him as irrelevant; people living to please themselves; people pursuing dishonest gain, plotting and scheming ... this is the stuff of the Prophets, and of today.

5. They are hope filled.

There are layers upon layers of hope offered in the prophets.  Not only do they give the messianic predictions, but also the shorter term sense of God’s concern and interest and involvement in their lives ... and also the longer term sense of ultimate reconciliation and kingdom hopes and guaranteed judgment on the wicked, etc.

I could go on, but I’ll leave it there.  When was the last time you preached from a prophet?

Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014). Follow him on Twitter

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

David Mende

commented on Jun 6, 2012

I had preached on the book of Haggai in 2009 and I've also preached through the book of Jonah last year. I have to admit that all of us in our church were blessed beyond measure by these books. And after reading this article, I'm encouraged to preach some more prophetical books!

Craig West

commented on Jun 6, 2012

I've just finished a series of sermons on Ezra (not a prophet), but I did a series through Amos last spring-2011). I'm planning to do another OT prophet this fall.

Beverly Birchfield

commented on Jun 6, 2012

I never realized many of my reasons for preaching from the OT prophets until you pointed them out but I guess what I love most is the many, many times they point to Jesus, the cross, the many truths of the word sometimes just the types and similitudes are so amazing... I seem to go through seasons of preaching the OT and the New. The Goodman of the house brings out treasures both old and new.

David Cordell

commented on Jun 7, 2012

I have in just the last few weeks been in a series on Wednesday's in the Minor Prophets and would agree with every point. I am just starting my third year at my first church and one gentleman stated he had never heard anyone preach from the book of Nahum. They really do have people looking at their Bible more and taking notes. I am also personally encouraged by the message of hope woven in each one. Thanks for the article.

Robin Gates

commented on Jun 9, 2012

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2Timothy 3:16-17. Written by "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ." It is a foundation Scripture of Protestants. He is talking about the Old Testament. It may be a novelty today, and there is the rub. Good stuff Brother Mead. God bless you!

Join the discussion