The weakness of the churches in our generation is largely due to our ignorance of the character of God. Nowhere in the Bible is that character more clearly expounded than in the ministry of the prophets. If the church neglects to listen to God's Word of self-revelation through them, we shall be condemned to a superficial sentimentalism in our view of God, which will inevitably be blown away, like dust, in the storms of life.
Both Hosea and Obadiah came to teach the unchanging character of the covenant God to a deaf and careless people. In the midst of all the uncertainties and unpredictability of the tides of human history, the rock of God's sovereign immutability stands, immovable and totally dominant. That was what God's people needed to know then and it is exactly the same message which Christians today need to hear and heed.
Here is a commentary which is a sure guide to these two remarkable Old Testament books. Preachers will find it a useful resource for the pulpit, and ordinary Christians who desire to live faithfully for God will benefit greatly from its instruction.
“This section of Hosea’s prophecy can be seen at three levels.” (Page 36)
“It was because Jehu had revelled in this bloodshed.” (Page 26)
“The mention of Jezreel would have brought back to the minds of the people the wickedness of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.” (Page 25)
“But certain conditions had to be fulfilled before Hosea would take Gomer back again.” (Page 37)
“We, too, must make sure that we do not become too proud of our achievements.” (Page 200)
It is a special treat to welcome this exposition of these two books, and to commend Michael Bentley's careful explanation and application of the Old Testament material for the contemporary church.
—David Jackman, Director of the Cornhill Training Course, London
Michael Bentley worked as a bookshop manager and served in the British army before his call to the ministry. He has a diverse background, which includes freelance religious reporting for national and religious radio and television, being a Religious Education teacher, and holding pastorates in Surrey, South East London, and Berkshire. He is also closely involved with his local community as a member of various committees and councils. His hobbies include singing second bass in the Bracknell Choral Society. Now retired, he still preaches regularly and has a ministry of writing, with some thirteen books in print including Opening Up Amos from the Opening Up Commentary Collection (30 Vols.), and Face2face: David, part of the Face2face Collection. He lives in Bracknell with his wife, Jenny, and has five children and eight grandchildren.