Relevance of the Writing Prophets for Today!

1-3:  The Message of the Writing Prophets.

Of course, the basic reason for chastisement, calamities, then and today, is THAT GOD WANTS A PURIFIED PEOPLE FOR HIS SERVICE.

The message of the Writing Prophets, if we can consider that they have one most prominent and consistent message throughout all 16 books, as you will find discussed in the next chapter, goes something like this: “God’s people are not acting like God’s people; a more immediate disaster or disasters is here or on the way for punishment unless they repent as a nation, called a day of the LORD and Lord; and the ultimate and final day of the LORD and Lord is pending fulfillment with an eternal punishment for the unbelievers {this included God’s people that cultivate “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God} and eternal reward for believers whose names are written in the book of life, the final disaster at the end of the Age after the Second Coming of Christ. Now all of this message is not in the 16 Writing Prophets per se; but the kernel is with slight explanations and further revelations to be given in the New Testament. As we study the message in these Prophets, having in this century as in the past two hundred centuries a complete Bible of 66 books, we reserve the right to use all of the Bible truth on each book.

There are two corollary messages to this “The Message” that we would seek to make clear from the writings of these 16 Prophets: (1) that God is in control of history, that God makes history on the daily and routine level as well as at the level of nations and the world, that God knows all His works of history from the beginning to the end, works on individuals and works on nations, and that God is actively and always involved in the making of history to the extent that the contemporary hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes with incidents also like 911 are under His immediate control {we will need to discuss how God has much of the natural and beyond world under automatic control, but always with the option of immediate intervention which He quite often exercises}; and (2) that the 16 Writing Prophets were writing words of God, and of Scripture, quite often they simply recorded words of direct dictation from God.

Dr. Ferris of the Logos Bible Software Blog calls the Old Testament “The Grand Reconciliation Project”  He lists four key claims the prophets make that fit into the “grand reconciliation project” of the Old Testament:  “First, they claimed that God spoke to and through them. … A second claim the prophets make is that God intends to restore the covenant relationship with His image-bearers. A third claim they make is that it’s not just pagans who have violated God’s righteous expectations but the covenant community as well. Fourth, the prophets claim that this all-holy God will judge and ultimately obliterate sin, and fifth, that a merciful and compassionate God will ultimately renew His covenant and restore all creation.” Just like the only disappointing Bible course I can remember either at Ouachita, Baylor, Seminary, or UT was one so called Bible course on the Prophets of the Old Testament that used a textbook called falsely “Relevance of the Prophets”, in which he also missed what Ferris did.

Good, but Ferris leaves out the real and relevant message of the Writing Prophets, if we had to select one, of course which we do not; but it is like saying What is the real relevance of the Prophets for today, and the answer is in brief that God disciplines His own people today with calamities and chastisement like He dead in the Old Testament. It is the message that most do not like to believe, while at the same time they discipline their children for their own good, at least many do; and perhaps those most likely to not discipline their children, would be the ones to ignore and neglect this common message of the Writing Prophets.  Here is a very short form of that The Message from all the Prophets: “God’s people are not acting like God’s people; and they are going to pay for it in disasters, and while the primary disaster will be eternity without God and all that is good, second to that is the blindness that will again come over God’s people as it did Israel, an inability to see real spiritual reality which the Prophets called a spirit of slumber, and third to that is natural disasters which must inevitable increase as the groaning of all creation continues and magnifies to the final shaking of both heaven and earth. In other words, according to the Word of God that came through the Prophets natural disasters as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or all other natural forms of “fire, blood, and vapor of smoke before that great and notable Day of the LORD” are also ways in which God’s people will pay for not acting like God’s people. The form of that disaster or disasters which will come upon God’s people, depends on the specific message of the Prophet.”

An Additional Word from the Word on The Discipline of God:

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.   You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.’   {A quote in Hebrews 12 from the Old Testament, Proverbs 3:11, 12 .}

 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

If God leads us always through green pastures and beside the still waters, the warning of William Penn is covered up that “No cross, no crown”. And the goal of the Apostle Paul to know “the fellowship of His (Christ’s) sufferings.

Don’t forget that as always on SunGrist you can free download the complete book on the 19 Writing Prophets of the Old Testament.

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