Hey All! Over the next three weekends, we are going to take a break from preaching through the Chronological Bible as we focus on some "Big Picture" kind of topics during September. But I know that many of you are dedicated to your reading and may be looking for an outlet to process some of what you are reading.
So, I'll open up this conversation and invite you to participate often during the month and interact with one another.
As you read through the kings and prophets of Israel from the time preceding captivity, during that time, and during their return, what are you learning? In other words, what is speaking to you these days?
Two aspects of the time of the prophets have impacted me this time in the reading. 1) I am amazed at how many warnings the people were given. Over and over and over, these prophets warned the people that God would not endure their wickedness or their worship of false gods forever. The prophets even promised that if they would turn from idolatry, God would bring blessing rather than punishment. So I have been impacted by the fact that people either didn't listen, or didn't care to change. Either option is surely an indictment against them. But before I get too high and mighty in looking down on them, I have to pause and wonder if I do this. Do I refuse to listen when God's word corrects me? At times. Do I listen, but decide that change is either too hard or not possible? Yes, I've done that. So as I watch Israel and Judah stubbornly pursue their own interests, I try and remind myself not to do the same!
2) The second aspect that has impacted me is the faithfulness of God. It seems that every day I tire of reading about God's judgment and the coming destruction, the prophets will follow-up this material with some kind of future promise. They extol and worship God for His faithfulness, His goodness, and His unwavering plans to create a people for Himself with new hearts and new spirits. I believe we have received that new heart and new spirit through Christ! And so I am reminded in the midst of my circumstances that I serve a God who has promised good. Even if I can't see how or when, He knows, and that is enough for me.
How about you? Process with us, and be sure to check back and read other's comments!