I recently preached a 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?