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The Major Prophets

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Watch Week Four: Old Testament: Major and Minor Prophets

This week, we are going to look at the last category of Old Testament books: the prophets. Each prophet is widely accepted as the author of the book named after him. The specific role of the prophets was to call Israel to repentance when they sinned. The prophets warned God’s people of judgment if they didn’t stop turning their back on God, all while reminding them that God will extend them mercy and hope and future restoration.

Today, let’s look at an overview of the books that make up the major prophets:

isaiah

From this book, we learn that Isaiah was married and had two sons (Isaiah 7:3, 8:3). Isaiah prophesied from 739–681 BC during the reign of four kings of Judah—Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. By the time he started prophesying, the people of Judah were worshipping God on the surface, but inwardly they had abandoned their faith. Through Isaiah, God prophesied a series of judgments to turn the heart of his people back to himself, as well as predictions about the future savior of Israel. Of all of the Old Testament books, Isaiah gives the clearest picture of the future Messiah’s birth (7:14) and his death (52:13–53:12).

jeremiah and lamentations

Jeremiah’s ministry began in 627 BC and lasted until around 582 BC. His prophecies included the prediction of the Babylonian captivity, during which the Jews would be carried to Babylon as exiles because of their rebellion against God (Jeremiah 25). In spite of this, God promised to return them to the land and to give them a good future. That future included a time when God would make a new covenant with the nation in which his laws would be written on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10–12). In addition to the book that bears his name, Jeremiah also likely wrote Lamentations. In Lamentations, the author wept over the city of Jerusalem, which had been invaded in 586 BC. Deeply anguished, he lamented over Judah’s sin that resulted in the destruction of its land. In the midst of his sorrow, the author still expressed hope in a faithful God whose mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).

ezekiel

Ezekiel prophesied during Judah’s exile in Babylon and lived in Tel-Abib, nearly one hundred miles south of Babylon. Many of Ezekiel’s prophecies concerned judgment for the sins that God’s people had committed as well as judgment against the nation’s enemies. The latter half of Ezekiel includes prophecies of Judah’s restoration and the return of God’s glory among his people.

daniel

Like Ezekiel, Daniel also lived in Babylon during the Jews’ exile. Daniel can be divided into two sections. The first section is narrative, recounting the encounters of Daniel and his three friends with the powerful kings of Babylon, Media, and Persia (Daniel 1–6). The second half of the book contains visions of the future, as it relates to Israel and the world (Daniel 7–12).

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Daily Question

God used prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel to deliver messages of warning, comfort, hope, and restoration to his people. In what ways does God communicate with you?

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Comments (11)

He speaks to me during my quiet time. Sometimes, he (the Holy Spirit)
just speaks to my heart and tells me he wants me to go a certain direction. He uses people to sometimes lead me a certain way or just speaks directly to me through His Word.

God communicates through me by giving me a name in my head of giving me a feeling in my body to pray for a certain person. And it usually happens the day I see them I just get this thought in my head that I need to pray for them.

I feel that God communicates with me in several ways. It can be through reading His Word, through other people young and old, through activities I am doing (He even communicated through raking my lawn!), etc. For me, it is just in going through life being willing to hear Him.

Situations. Strangers. Family Members. Bible study. Sermons. Devotions. God appears to us in many ways and speaks through our situations. We are such a blessed people that He cares enough to show up in our DAILY circumstances.

I have heard God speak to me clearly at times and found comfort, guidance and hope in difficult and sometimes yet to come situations. I have also heard from others…His children who have shared a word of hope especially from God and for me and have been blessed. But truly I must add that I have heard from God so often through His word [both read and spoken in sermons] that continues to guide and direct my life in amazing ways. There is no way I could overestimate the gift of opening God’s word and receiving a "right now" message whose timing is beyond earthly comprehension.

He communicates to me through prayer and answered requests, no matter what that answer may be. He uses others to talk to me, example my Pastor every weekend in church. I need to learn to sit still and hear Him in my most hectic times.

His Word- but also worship music. In prayer, and also in everyday encounters and conversations with others. By answering prayers, whether it be a "yes" "no" or "not now", I love hearing His answers and seeing what His plan has in store for me through each day I have.

His Word- but also worship music. In prayer, and also in everyday encounters and conversations with others. By answering prayers, whether it be a "yes" "no" or "not now", I love hearing His answers and seeing what His plan has in store for me through each day I have.

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