Major & Minor Prophets
The image of the eagle has inspired people and nations throughout history. The Bible is no exception in this regard. What animal in God’s vast creation can better symbolize God’s soaring and sovereign reign than the eagle? Few of us fully realize, however, that God wishes to share His victorious life with us. Isaiah knew this was true and wrote to help us know it as well. In the second half of his glorious prophecies, the great seer encourages us to receive from the Lord the strength of the eagle (Isaiah 40-48) that we might not stumble (Isaiah 49-57) but rather soar (Isaiah 58-66). We thus learn more about God’s condition, our condition without God, and our condition with God. We are called to soar! In this study, we are challenged to view our emotions from a fresh and Biblical perspective. We are sometimes uncomfortable with our own feelings, especially when faced with sadness, grief, and tears. Yet, in the Scriptures we find many examples of God’s saints shedding tears including Jacob, Joseph, Hannah, Jonathan, Saul, David, Hezekiah, Peter, Paul, and Mary. Jeremiah, in fact, is often referred to as the “weeping prophet.” But as you look closer at his book, you will see his tears originate in the heart of the Lord. We may dare to say that “God weeps.” Jeremiah has crafted this book essentially as a poetic dirge. In Lamentations, he records his deep mourning, side-by-side with a recognition of God’s anger and judgment. Yet, in the midst of it all, the prophet expresses profound reasons for hope. Lamentations helps us to understand how our deepest, darkest, and most dire tragedies can be a divine set-up for abiding hope. God is able to turn difficult times into eternal benefit for us and for God’s glory. Great is God’s faithfulness! Ezekiel’s book outlines the time before, during, and after stages of the siege of Jerusalem. God gives Ezekiel a symbolic vision of Israel as very dry bones and asks him if they can live. What appears utterly dead to Ezekiel doesn’t rattle the prophet so deeply as to shake his faith. And so God engages Ezekiel to cooperate with heaven to accomplish the impossible. The meaning behind this profound vision can stir any nominal believer in God to expect the Lord to do something greater — much greater than may seemed possible — for our day as well. How are we to live in this world with an eye on the next? Few Biblical characters provide a clearer and more brilliant example than Daniel. This servant of the Lord faced great perils while living in Babylon. He could have succumbed to anxiety and fear but chose instead to trust in the God. The visions Daniel received contain great insight to help us live like Daniel in righteousness, joy, and peace amid the infidelity and unbelief in our day.