Week Thirty-One Reading Assignment:
Isaiah 12 - Isaiah 34
"So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. Above all else, however, remember that no one can explain by himself a prophecy in the Scriptures. For no prophetic message ever came just from the will of man, but men were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God."
(2 Peter 1:19-21 TEV)
(2 Peter 1:19-21 TEV)
This Week's Teaching Video: Time Lapse Prophets
When we were studying the history books -- and, specifically, when we were in the era of the divided monarchy -- we provided a teaching video called "Time Lapse Monarchy." The design was to offer a kind of moving illustration of the passage of time and the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Below you will find an updated version of that same video. This time, though, we have introduced into that video history a number of the prophets who are prominent in the story along the way.
In most cases, the dates of the prophets are much less certain than those of the kings. Still, this video will provide a general sense for where the prophets come in relation to the larger history.
(Note: The dating of some prophets is so speculative that we have not included them in this video. Also, the post-exilic prophets will be dealt with separately.)
Good Book Review:
What to Watch for This Month
Isaiah is sometimes referred to as the “messianic prophet” because his book includes so many words and images that seem to anticipate Jesus. Watch for signs of Jesus in Isaiah.
God’s word seldom meets with a unani-mous reaction. Different people respond differently (cf. Jesus’ parable of the soils in Matthew 13). Watch for the different ways that people react to God’s word as proclaimed by Isaiah and by Jeremiah.
Isaiah and Jeremiah preached in the same place, but at different times. In each case, try to identify what were the most prevalent sins and issues among God’s people at that time.
Isaiah and Jeremiah are both “judgment prophets.” In both cases, watch for themes of judgment. What is the nature of the predicted judgment? What is its source? What is its cause? What is its purpose?
Although judgment is, as we might expect, the prevailing theme of a judgment prophet, both Isaiah and Jeremiah look to a time beyond the judgment. What are the characteristics of that time? How far away does it seem to be?
Compare the “call” experiences of Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as their responses to their sense of calling.
In what ways does Jeremiah share the experience of His people? In what ways does Jeremiah share the experience of God?
The despair and pain of the songs in Lamentations are to be expected. Watch, however, for the more surprising elements of hope.
At the end of a day’s reading, it might be helpful to ask, “If I didn’t know anything about God except for what I read today, what would I know about Him?”