Given some basic understanding of what happens in between these books, reading the bookends really does provide the grand sweep of the big picture of God's loving plan for His creation. We have been amazed time and time again at God's amazing mercy, grace and love for His people and at the rate of about three chapters per week, we will read the final three chapters of Revelation in a week's time.
Tacking the minor prophets on the end was a bit random. We just decided it would be good to do a closer reading of these neglected little books. That was it. But it turns out that having looked closely at what happened right at the beginning in Genesis and then understanding what is happening now (and what we need to do about it) and what will happen when Jesus comes again in Revelation provides the perfect backdrop for reading the minor prophets - books that are full of warnings to repent before the coming judgment and words about the glory and the horror of the Last Day. We couldn't be better prepared for the old minor prophets.
Are you looking for an interesting reading project? This is it. And as much as I LOVE my Bible reading plan it is good to read the first chapter of Genesis at a time other than 1st January. Sometimes fresh eyes are helpful.
I've started doing a bit of pre-reading for the minors and found these great words from They Echoed the Voice of God: Reflections on the Minor Prophets by Roger Ellsworth on dear old Habakkuk.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Here is a vital question for each of us to consider: Do we draw our happiness from our circumstances or from the Lord?
We can surely see the importance of this question. If we insist on finding our happiness in our circumstances, our lives will be like rollercoasters. We will be happy one moment and sad the next. Why? Because our circumstances are constantly changing.
But if we find our happiness in the Lord, we will always be happy. The Lord never changes.
I would probably change the word "happy" for "joy" in at least a couple of places - a minor detail. And later in the same chapter...
We seem often to forget that salvation from sin and eternal destruction is a blessing of such magnitude that we should rejoice even if God never blessed us in any other way.
Now that is something to ponder.
Speaking of Revelation, did I mention two weeks ago that I would do a prize draw for a copy of A Gospel Pageant and that I would announce a winner a week ago? Oops! The number of those in the draw was small. Two. And as it happens I have three left over copies of the book. So Sarah and Wendy, a copy each coming your way at some stage soon.