Topic: The Prophets
In this session, we look at the books of the Prophets in the Old Testament.
Speaker: Andy Martin
Andy is based in Birmingham but spends much of his time training, equipping and supporting church leaders internationally. In this session he speaks to us about The Old Testament Prophets.
Intro – the big picture of Scripture.
God’s representatives, his messengers to his people and the nations.
Whole story reveals God – but prophets rich with insights into nature of God and what matters to him.
Who are they?
What do they say about God?
He is not Distant – He is very involved
God who speaks
Makes himself known – reveals himself, God not silent
Bring revelation about God and his purpose
His character, his holiness, what matters to him, how he feels about things, also himself.
22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. 25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown.
Ezekiel sat still for a week in awe of the vision!
God loves justice and mercy
Predominantly two views of God, one angry, at best grumpy, causes bad things to happen, doesn’t stop them – there’s writings can be a source for that view.
The other is loving, kind, helps us, protect us from bad things, cuddle, doesn’t like sin but is so loving lets us off.
Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Quote: What we need to make clear with our bumper stickers and culture-current writings is that the love that wins is a holy love. The love that won on the cross and wins the world is a love that is driven, determined, and defined by holiness. It is a love that flows out of the heart of a God who is transcendent, majestic, infinite in righteousness, who loves justice as much as He does mercy; who hates wickedness as much as He loves goodness; who blazes with a fiery, passionate love for Himself above all things. He is Creator, Sustainer, Beginning and End. He is robed in a splendour and eternal purity that is blinding. He rules, He reigns, He rages and roars, then bends down to whisper love songs to His creatures.
God is passionate for his people
One of main themes through big story is God wants a people. A people who he loves and will love him. Not simply know about him but are in deep relationship with him.
The prophets reveal the strength of this desire – it is a burning passion.
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.
Promises of a new day
In the middle of sin, compromise, God announces what he is going to do.
New King – Zechariah 9
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
God speaks fully through Jesus
A New Temple – Haggai 2
‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
A New Creation – Isaiah 65
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. The prophets present a fantastic vision of what God is going to do.
A vision that should fill our perspective and shape our lives.
The new day has started – the king has come, God lives hear, you are the first part of the new creation.
God is overcoming injustice, wickedness and evil.
People need to know that
The prophets spoke for God – Who speaks now? – issues have not changed
The world is not all right – this needs talking about.
The church is a prophetic community
And it is to demonstrate that there is a better way – God’s way, he is holy and he doesn’t ignore sin but he burns with live and if you come to him he forgives and gives new life.