Studies in the Prophets Who Still Speak to Today’s World
For many, prophet means fortune-teller. For the prophets of the Bible, this was only a part of their task. In fact, perhaps a better title would be truth-tellers.
Truth about the past, truth about the present and truth about what is yet to come. Truth anchored in the coming new kingdom that is to be ushered in by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Truth is all about the absolutes of a universe governed by The Creator and the way He leads us to live our lives. We discover His truths by observing His creation, learning from His Scriptures and living out His moral principles in our daily lives.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6 (ESV)
This series began Sunday, April 24, 2022. Our objective is to challenge each other to read the books of the prophets and to hear their message to us, today in the light of the cross (2 Peter 3:1-2, ESV).
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God’s plans will not be detoured, changed or canceled by man. Knowing of the open hearts of the Ninevites in Assyria, God commissioned Jonah to preach about the need to repent and turn to God before it is too late.
Is anybody listening?
Obadiah was among the earliest of the writing prophets and his book is the smallest of the Old Testament. The descendants of Esau were known as the Edomites and their history with the descendants of his brother, Jacob, were never good. For example, see Numbers 20:14-21.
Years later, Obadiah has one message for Edom: “You thought you were so great, perched high among the rocks, king of the mountain, thinking to yourself, ‘Nobody can get to me! Nobody can touch me!’ Think again. Even if, like an eagle, you hang out on a high cliff-face, even if you build your nest in the stars, I’ll bring you down to earth.” God’s sure Word.” (Obadiah 2-4, MSG).
For those who think they are invincible, rejoicing at the calamity of others, God promises Edom and the nations at large, ““The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations!” (Obadiah 15, MSG).
Justice is coming, Jesus promised (Luke 18:7-8). These words of warning are good for all who take comfort in their ‘secure’ place in the world. Our security is not in this world’s kingdoms. Our security is in God and His purposes!
The book of Isaiah stretches over the longest period of time in the prophets. The first half of Isaiah (chapters 1-39) address both Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom) punctuated in the middle by the Exile. The Exile was the time when Jerusalem was destroyed and Judah’s captives were taken to Babylon for 70 years before their return.
The second half of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) picks up the story of Judah after the Exile and points to the time of Jesus to the end of time. Our focus will be on the moral and ethical teaching Isaiah gave to Israel and Judah in order to make application of his teachings to us, today. Our primary focus will be on a grand summary of God’s message in Isaiah 58-59 using the Message translation.
Speaking for God to a world that had lost its way, the prophets have striven to convict people of their need to return to the light of God’s love before it is too late. The prophets would convict people of their sin and call them to repentance.
At the same time they would shine a light of hope upon a new age through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Frequently, Jesus and His apostles would refer to the writings of Moses, the Law and the prophets to explain the advent of the Kingdom of God. A common theme to which God has always called His people to is to be a light to the people around them (Isaiah 42:6). Today, we call His command, The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).