By Alisha Headley, Crosswalk.com
Growing up, I always considered the Bible to be rather boring. Parts of it intrigued me as I learned the most popular stories: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark. And then of course fast forward to the New testament where we learn that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary, only to die on the cross for us and save us all from eternal destruction.
Let’s face it though, some books are more fun to read than others, right?
However, when I began deepening my faith by seeking out the depths of Scripture, I realized that the Bible is alive and there is so much more to it than I ever imagined. It is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). It’s a book that may be over 2,700 years old, but its message is timeless. The more we study it, the more God’s words will begin to sink into the core of who we are.
God has placed every book, even the so-called boring ones, in the Bible for a reason. There isn’t a section of the Bible that God doesn’t want you to study and meditate on.
Many books, chapters, and verses get overlooked in the Bible by Christians.
In fact, here are 10 books of the Bible most Christians don’t read enough, but should consider. Let’s allow these less than popular books to speak into our hearts today in a new way. Ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart to as He reveals His purpose in placing these books in the Bible.
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1. The Chronicles – God Is Faithful to His Promises
Chronicles is often skipped over because it’s a long story. It communicates the nation of Israel’s entire history – its rulers, wars, religious events, economic cycles, and it starts with the beginning of mankind. Even the very beginning of Chronicles opens with a list of names, and the genealogies of names go on for nine chapters. No wonder this book is often overlooked.
But if you keep on reading, there is beautiful theme of God’s faithfulness weaved in and out of 1st and 2nd Chronicles. It tells the story of God’s covenant with David and His people.
Reading the Chronicles can provide hope as it reminds you today that even when war and things around us don’t seem promising, God’s promises never fail. He is faithful. Our obedience is to keep our focus on Him. When the people’s faith began to fall in 2 Chronicles 10:11, the people cry out saying “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” God kept his promises and reminded His people in verse 20 to “believe in your God, and you shall be established.”
2. Nehemiah – God Will Fight for You
After 70 years in exile, the Jews had returned to Jerusalem, but the city itself was in ruins. Nehemiah sets out on a task and purpose to rebuild the walls for his people. Nehemiah is not only a leader, but a man of prayer. The longest recorded prayer in the Bible is actually written in Nehemiah 9.
This book is a must-read because there is actually some spiritual battle going on in it that we can learn from – the same spiritual battle we fight in our everyday lives. It’s a reminder that God will fight for us just as He did Nehemiah.
Nehemiah drew the attention of his enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, who were “deeply disturbed” (Nehemiah 2:10) when he began the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They employed a variety of strategies to divert Nehemiah from his task. These strategies are the same ones the enemy uses today. However, just like Nehemiah, we can build our own counterstrategies to come against the enemy in our life trying to divert us from our purpose. Be encouraged as Nehemiah 3:20 says “Our God will fight for us.” We have the greatest leader and warrior on our side, and this book reminds us of this truth.
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3. Habakkuk – When God Is Silent
This book of the Bible is so timely in the global pandemic we are currently living in. We often wonder why God doesn’t just do something, why is He silent.
Habakkuk had the same questions as he was perplexed by the destruction of this nation by the Babylonians and found his faith faltering. The book starts out with him saying “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1:2). He learned that he who puts his faith in the faithful God will endure to the end (Habakkuk 2:4). He was a man with honest doubts and this book is encouraging to know that as we continue to wait on God, that God is working on our behalf, even in the waiting and silence.
4. Malachi – God’s Love for His People
In the book of Malachi, God’s people were in a state of spiritual apathy and had a half-hearted commitment. Malachi reminds the people of God’s love despite their unfaithfulness. Scriptures in Malachi encourage us that it simply takes us returning to our Father, and He will be there with open loving arms. Malachi 3:7 says, “return to me, and I will return to you.”
He instructs us with a promise saying, “For those who fear the Lord, who meditate on His name…they shall be Mine…I will make them my jewels, and I will spare them” (Malachi 3:16-18). God wants our whole heart just as he wanted the hearts of the people when this book was written. He loves us despite us walking away from Him.
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5. Jude – Staying Close in the Love of God
The Book of Jude has just one chapter, but it is packed with a powerful message. It is another timely message for the world we are living in today. We are surrounded with leaders and articles of information that overload our inbox and TV each day, full of those walking according to their own way, their own ungodly lusts.
This book of the Bible is such an encouragement that when ungodliness and lies of others come against us, that we can still maintain a life with God. We are encouraged to “build ourselves up on holy faith, praying in the Spirit, keeping ourselves in the love of God, and looking for the Lord’s mercy” (Jude 1:20-21).
6. Joel – The Beauty of Repentance
Joel is a short book of the Bible that talks about repentance and restoration. It is through our repentance that God will restore us. It doesn’t matter how far we have walked away or the sin we have committed. Just as the Lord restored the land and poured His Spirit out in the book of Joel, He will do the same with us.
The beauty of our repentance is He makes us whole and then desires to bless us. The end of Joel is concluded with a beautiful blessing to the people who have repented as it says “the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water…” (Joel 3:18). Oh, the beauty of our repentance!
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7. Revelation – Hope in Our Current Circumstance
This one might surprise you as a book Christians don’t read enough as it’s a well-known one. But many people stay away from Revelation as it instills fear, since it talks about the end times and things that will happen in the future. Most of us stray away from reading such fearful things ahead of us.
However, when you actually read through it, this book often times gives you more hope than fear. It’s a reminder that some of the most dreadful days and circumstances we are experiencing today, will one day be over. Revelation 21:4 says “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there should be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation is a book full of hope and keeping a kingdom perspective. Reminding us that what we are experiencing now is for a purpose and is not forever. The pain is not forever. The hurt, the crying, the death, none of those will last. For our Lord is coming back for us, and that day will be glorious is every aspect as we see our “king riding in on a white horse” (Revelation 19:11-16).
8. Haggai – God’s Reassurance
It’s easy for us to forget our purpose, to forget God’s faithfulness. We become stagnant living day to day in the same mundane routine. The Jews returning from the Exile needed reassurance that they were still God’s people and still in covenant with Him.
The book of Haggai is a reminder that we can become lazy and sometimes we need the reassurance that we are walking the path God has for us. Haggai addressed the people with a clear word from God – to finish what they started and continue to rebuild the temple. Haggai encouraged them to keep moving forward and were reminded with the reassurance from the Lord that “I am [still] with you” (Haggai 1:13).
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9. Philemon – Allow Love to Be Our Driving Force
The book of Philemon is a letter written from Paul to his dear friend Philemon. He urges Philemon to forgive a man named Onesimus and welcome this former slave back into his home.
We all know forgiveness is hard. But it is the love of God shown to us and the forgiveness He graciously gives us, that can be the same motivation for us to show others the same forgiveness. Love often compels us to do that which cannot be explained by any other motive. Paul teaches us through this book the power of forgiving, loving, and moving forward continuing God’s plan for the Kingdom.
10. Jonah – God is a God of Beginning Anew
The book of Jonah seems to be sometimes overlooked. Yes, we all know the story of Jonah and the whale. But the message of Jonah is important. Jonah teaches that God is a God of beginning anew.
The prophet experienced God’s forgiveness when he was unfaithful and was offered another opportunity for obedience. Jonah 3:1 says, “now the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying ‘arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.’” This illustrates that God saves the underserving and offers a second chance. Jonah’s initial rejection of God’s plan did not disqualify him from being used by God in a powerful way later.
How encouraging to know that God is a God of second chances, and just like Jonah, we too, can still be used even when we are disobedient.
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