This year, our women at church have been studying the Old Testament prophets. It sounds like it might be a gloomy study doesn’t it? But it has been anything but. Since we have been studying so many books, it has been much more of an overview study but it has been a great study…and has whet our appetites for more time in each one.
We didn’t study every single book. We studied 10 of them. The book that guided us was written by Nancy Guthrie. It is titled The Word of the Lord: Seeing Jesus in the Prophets. I highly recommend this book for a number of reasons.
For those of you who like the BSF-type format for your study, it is set up that way. We don’t have the time to do ours that way, but the resources are there in the book to do the study in much the same way. In preparation, we do our questions, then read the teaching part of the study. We come together and discuss the study questions and some of the discussion questions. She has a video if you have the time to do the teaching section during your group study. It all depends on the goals for your group and the time frame you are working with.
Having a study guide that helps you learn to study the Bible & see Jesus in all of the Bible is a definite plus!
Another huge value of her study is that she helps you see Jesus in this portion of Scripture. It is especially helpful in the Old Testament where we often find it more difficult. At the end of each chapter, she helps you see how this book fits into the whole Bible. How many times do you read the Bible and don’t “get” the connection with the rest of Scripture? I did for years. I got so lost in the forest for all the details of each tree.
It is helpful to do this study because she helps us see the overall view of the message of the book in its place in the culture while we still study what it has to say. But we don’t get lost in all the details of the individual prophecies. That is for another day. In Daniel, we read those visions and dreams, but didn’t get into all the details. Just what the overall point of it was. That can be helpful for certain studies…and much less devisive at times!
Our nation is definitely post-Christian. Our culture now is much more like it was living in Babylon for Daniel and his friends.
It seems, these days, there is no question there is little interest in morality or an objective view of what GOD thinks about anything. In fact, people who tend to be moral are belittled in the media. It is important for those of us who are concerned about justice, mercy and what GOD thinks about what happens around us and how we respond to it, to be aware that we are living in Babylon, not a “Christian nation.”
The U.S. is definitely post-Christian. As a culture, we don’t function as Christians anymore except in some areas, on a very superficial level. Once we adjust to that, it will help our focus. We aren’t entitled to the promises made to Israel as a nation. If we are part of the Church, the Body of Christ, we may be, but not as a nation. Paul makes that clear in more than one of his epistles…particularly Galatians.
By the end of our study Thursday, this was what we read. What a hopeful word! As the people of GOD who live in Babylon, we can take heart!
“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days (cf vss. 9-10)
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
As part of the people of GOD, we are in this group of the Kingdom of GOD!
If we are GOD’s people, in Christ, we are part of this great kingdom! Christ has been given dominon over all people, nations and languages, it is everlasting and will NOT be destroyed! No matter what it looks like at any given time, that is the truth! Surely, during Holy Week, there was never a time when it looked more hopeless…but on Easter Sunday Jesus rose from the dead…showing He not only had power over sin, but over death and Satan!
No one knows it better than Satan!! That is why He fights so hard against GOD’s people. Let us rejoice in the power of the kingdom of GOD. It will not pass away. It will not be destroyed. It will have everlasting dominion!
What encouraging words! Hallelujah!