Showing posts from April, 2016

Who is your favorite minor prophet?

Habakkuk is one of my favorite minor prophets, for the not terribly spiritual reason that one of my favorite choruses is based on a verse from Habakkuk. I'll leave you to try and guess which verse. Anyway, I was kind of pleased to see we're finally reaching Habakkuk in our journey through Biblical prophets. I hope you're still enjoying the journey. (24) Josiah Falls and Judah will soon follow - Habakkuk 1.        Read 2 Chronicles 35:20-22 . What might have tempted Josiah to fight against Egypt? What might have confirmed, for him, that this was God’s will? How do we recognize God’s will? 2.        Read 2 Kings 23:25, Deuteronomy 6:5, 34:10-12 . How does the author view King Josiah? 3.        Read 2 Kings 23:28-30 . How do we feel when we think we know what God’s doing, and everything changes? 4.        Read 2 Kings 23:31-32, 2 Chronicles 21:10 . What efforts did Josiah take to ensure his sons would be faithful? (Libnah had become a bastion of faithfulness b

When nations start to fall

I can't quite believe this. We're finally looking at Jeremiah! Of course, we're still only halfway through Isaiah, and Nahum is the prophet this study is meant to be about. But nations are starting to fall, and it's neat to know we're really moving forward through those lists of prophets. I'm certainly still enjoying watching how the stories, characters, prophecies and history all fit together. (23) Jeremiah and Nahum In 622BC, civil war is raging in Assyria. The new king Josiah tries to clean up the temple—an act that has secular relevance as a declaration of independence, and religious relevance as a response to the calls of the prophets. Are mixed motives always wrong? Josiah’s reign is a time restored faith for the Jews, though prophets still predict dire things, and Josiah’s reforms won’t be enough. Read 2 Kings 23:26 How might Josiah have felt as prophets continued to predict dire things for Judah? The discovery of the Book of the Law in 622BC le

When the world falls apart... again

Our study of prophets move forward this week into the reigns of the bad king Manasseh and the good king Josiah, via the prophet Zephaniah. At some point I'm going to have to update my tables of dates, people and events, but in the meantime I'll just keep reminding myself of which king is who, where, when and why... or something like that. Anyway, the world is falling apart again, and it's not clear even Josiah can put it back together. (22) The Prophet Zephaniah Hezekiah was a good king who made some bad mistakes. He was guided by the prophet Isaiah. He nearly died of a mysterious illness, or boils, and was healed then reigned a further 15 years. 1.        Read 2 Kings 20:20-21:1. On the surface, this means Manasseh wasn’t even born until after Hezekiah began his extra 15 years. In practice, Manasseh probably served as co-regent, starting when he came of age. He inherits an insecure kingdom in a changing world, and promptly allies with Assyria, where he is listed amo

Does History Repeat Itself?

This week's study continues to tie history (through King Hezekiah) and prophecy together, looking at Isaiah, the world around him, and the events that provoke his words. Lots of references. Lot of jumping around. But it's cool how it all ties together in the end. I enjoyed preparing it and hope you might enjoy following along. (21) Threat And Counterthreat Recent History : Ethiopia/Cush has conquered and strengthened Egypt (25 th dynasty, 780-656BC). Assyria has conquered Israel, Philistia and beyond. Babylon is attacking Assyria from the North, and Egypt/Cush attacks periodically from the South. Isaiah looks at what has happened , and tells how God sees things will turn out. 1.        Read Isaiah 18:1,2,7 How does Isaiah view Ethiopia’s rising power? How do we view nations rising in power? 2.        Read Isaiah 19:1,2 Egypt , though still powerful, has split into factions.  Who does Isaiah credit with this? Who do we credit when former enemies begin to fail? 3.