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What Do These Books Mean?

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound...

Isaiah 61:1
What Do These Books Mean? Book Cover

Better Days to Come

The prophetic books sounded the alarm and warned the kingdoms of Israel and Judah that God would not tolerate their sins. We see God’s holiness on full display and the failure of his people to remain loyal to his covenant with them. Through the prophets, we see the heartbreaking results of abandoning God and his ways. What insights we can gain from the Jews’ rebellion! No matter how much God loves his people and wants to dwell them, he refuses to allow them to continue in sin without addressing it.

In the midst of the worst days of Israel’s history, much of it brought on by their own disobedience, we also see some of God’s brightest promises. Parallel to pronouncements of judgment, these books also heralded the good news. God’s people had done their very worst. Still, he promised his very best.

God communicated through his prophets that better days were coming. A Messiah would come who would forever return the hearts of the people back to their God (Isaiah 53). The prophecies concerning the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah find their fulfillment in the New Testament. These messages of hope motivated the people of the Old Testament to live in anticipation of God’s future salvation. Hundreds of years after Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the Lord’s anointed one, Jesus read from Isaiah 61 and declared, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). As we read these messages, we can rejoice in the God who forgives sins and extends his mercy to all who will call upon him.

A Glorious Future

We know the rest of the story and enjoy the salvation that God had long promised. We not only study these books of prophecy to understand how they relate to our past and our present, but we study them to understand our future. God also gave the prophets vision and insight into the far distant future, when the Messiah will return a second time, destroying sin and death and reigning forever as the everlasting King of Peace. One day, all of God’s people across all times will live together in unity. God will be our God in every sense. He will wipe away all tears from our eyes, and we will serve him forever with joy.

Knowing that we have such a bright future gives us hope as we live out our days here on Earth. We continue to study his Word so that we can live with intentionality and in anticipation of his return.


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Old Testament: Major and Minor Prophets

Daily Question

How often do you think about Jesus’s return? How can you live with even more intentionality as you wait for his return?

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Comments (11)

I do think of Jesus’ return often these days. Partly because of my age and also because of the state of the world and some loved ones in my life. All of these things heighten my awareness that so many people need the Lord. I am feeling very moved by God to be intentional about His purpose for me in such a time as this. We are being filled with His message for a divine purpose in this waiting time. His Word from the prophets is as true for us now as it was for His people then. I believe we are now the prophets He is calling in a broken world to share His message. Thank you for this study. It is time for me to rise up in obedience. We can all join our hearts, prayers and voices to unite in sharing God’s truth to our world.

In these days I wish for HIS return more than ever before. But yes we need to wait patiently on HIM and obey HIS WORD Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit also. Drawing ever closer to HIM.

When I struggle with depression I think often about Jesus’ return because I yearn for this life to be over and for the coming Kingdom to begin. I think about his return usually when I am thinking about how sad this life can be with all the poverty and injustice in the world. I can live with more intentionality by reminding myself daily that he is returning and that I should live each day like it’s my last day and like I will be meeting Jesus face to face.

I honestly don’t think about it too often, but when I do I think about how short our time is here on earth and the work still left to do. Because of this, I must be intentional about working towards inviting others to the Kingdom through spreading the good news and making disciples. This becomes the central purpose of my short time here on earth as we prepare for the return of Christ.

I do think of it occasionally. I think living through loving people and being an example even when it is tough is a way to live intentionally and point others to Jesus.

Every single day. Ironically, it is mostly when I am tired of the earthly struggles and am ready to be free and worshipping with Jesus. I know that there are many things left to do here so I must gather my strength in the Lord and continue the work Jesus started of ministering, serving, and being an example of God’s love to all.

I don’t think of HIs return often enough, mostly when I watch or read the news and see so much bad in the world. I need to work on thinking of this glorious day more often. I want to live more intentionally while I wait, I need to study and read the word more, also want to share my testimony with more people who need to hear it.

Not nearly enough. I think if I did, it would affect how I respond to circumstances differently. I can tell when my view is temporal…not considering eternity. I believe my trust would grow more active…made clearer by the fact that while I cannot do much to control the here and now – I am helpless in my own power to govern "eternal" things. I think it would cause a more consistent intimacy and yes while it will highlight my need for the comforter…that is always available to me…the greatest change I would anticipate is an ease in my spirit, once I remember the God of heaven and earth who gave His son to be my LORD and Savior.

I think about it occasionally. I need to live my life in such a way that I act as if each day on earth could be my last.

I think about it often of what it is going to be like when we see Him face to face. we are living in the times of waiting for his second return. I need to be more intentional in reading and studying God’s Word. I need to show others in my daily walk how I love Jesus.

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