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Series IV: Prophets and Revelation
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Series IV:  Prophets and Revelation

There are many more prophets in the Old Testament than many of us realize. This study draws our attention to all of them.  First there is Moses, who was simply called the Lord's Servant.  He is succeeded by Joshua who famously challenged the Israelites, “Choose this day whom you will serve; as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!” Samuel, also called a Judge in Israel comes next and it is he who anoints first Saul and then later David as King.  Once the kingdom is established, there are many wicked kings and so the Lord again challenges His people through His prophets, especially Elijah and Elisha.  It is Elijah who faces the wicked Jezebel and the prophets of the fertility god, Baal.  The confrontation takes place on top of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  It is there that Elijah calls down fire from heaven to consume the sacrificial offering while the prophets of Baal dance around their altar and gash themselves from morning until noon.  The confrontation ends with the death of these blasphemous idolaters and the return of Israel to the Lord who sends rain upon the crops and waters the thirsty ground.  Elijah's faithfulness is rewarded as he is taken up on the fiery chariot, but his cloak falls to Elisha who inherits a double portion of his spirit.  ("Swing low sweet chariot…")

The next prophet studied is Amos, a shepherd of Tekoa and dresser of Sycamore trees.  While he would rather stay at home and mind his sheep, the prophetic call cannot be resisted and the Lord sends him to confront the wickedness of Samaria.  Hosea, Micah, and Nahum come next in our study as we watch the Israelites harden their hearts against the word of the Lord and the Northern Kingdom falls to the Assyrians who thunder in from Ninevah.  By way of contrast the prophet Jonah teaches us that even the enemies of Israel can be saved when they repent and turn to the Lord.  If only Israel had heeded God's messengers.  If only we too would hear His word.

Sister devotes weeks nine through eighteen to the other prophets, moving quickly through the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Unfortunately it is not good news as the Kingdom of Judah follows in the steps of its brothers to the north, violating the covenant and disobeying the Lord, making instead a covenant with death.  Death comes when the Babylonians conquer their cities and raze Jerusalem to the ground.  The people are exiled and held in captivity for fifty-five years along the streams of Babylon.  It is there that Daniel has his visions and resists the persecution against God's people by pagans and especially by King Nebuchadnezzer.  Sister's ample notes and commentary render all of this complicated history easily understandable and help us to make applications to our own lives as we too hear the words of the prophets calling us to repentance and conversion.

Added to this study is an examination of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament.  Although challenging in style and content, this book is very rich in symbolism and offers a great deal of material for personal spiritual growth through careful prayer and study.  Caught up with the Apostle John who is writing from the penal colony on the island of Patmos, we catch a glimpse of the throne of God and the Lamb, surrounded by the martyrs dressed in white robes, whose garments have been made pure in the blood of the Lamb.  Then we see the war in the heavens and the evil dragon, the Beast, make war on the Church, sweeping a third of the stars from the sky.  We are reminded of the emperor Nero and the persecution of Christians.  We see the New Jerusalem descend from heaven and witness the final victory and wedding feast of the Lamb.

Series IV: Prophets and Revelation contains 28 complete lessons.

 

  
 
 
 
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