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Logo of 2016 Michigan Camp Meeting: The Harvest is Great

Minor in Size, Major in Message- Part 1

Rahel Schafer


  • June 12, 2016
    9:30 AM
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Lord thank you so much for the privilege we have of talking about your word and digging deeper today I just ask that you be present here with us there's so much more of in just these tiny little prophetic books we are only going to scratch the surface but I just thank you for the chance we have to talk about them and think about them and just review your grace or goodness or kindness to thank you for. Teaching the undergrad religion department so. And so I've been able to have the privilege of every year teaching the prophets class to the theology majors there and for the last five years since I found that this is really my favorite class to teach but of course I have also Mester And we of course include Isaiah during my ID kill Daniel limitations that cetera so but I usually spend a week on each of these prophets so trying to figure out how to fit them into three days was and even that is not enough I mean I'm just like I need more talk these surveys maybe so so I always tell my students you know you just have to just what your appetite so that you want to study more so that's what I hope to do for you we're going to just give kind of an overview of just prophets in general and then you know the personalities of prophets and then talk. About some of the things that are relevant to the themes of these minor prophets. And then we're going to start today with two of them tomorrow we'll do six and then the day after that we'll do another two I mean tomorrow we might do five and I'm cited you will see how how quickly we get through them but. So you have there on your handout I should actually look at a handout to make sure I'm not missing anything that I'm saying there. I'm going to do a lot of reading from them because I think this is this is. This is what we often don't do is read the prophets I find this me I didn't do it either and I remember and when I took my first prophets class in seminary I was like I never really read these books very much I mean you read them when you read through the Bible but you don't really understand them because the language is so crazy and there's all these imagery and you're like what is going on I have no idea I'm lost so you just move on to the Gospels or I I always like I loved reading and I was a kid and growing up I still probably go to that but I've come to really love the prophets because they speak to us today about the same issues that we're dealing with. And I think the reason one of the reasons at least we don't read them is because they do speak to us they speak hard to us they speak to the situations where in the. The secular world that we live in the the sin and corruption that we face even in the church. The mass of the world that we're in and they speak strongly tunes and they are not afraid to say things that we are like I could say that I'm not sure I can see these things so I find that often we don't read them also because they speak to us. So we'll address some of that but I want you to get a feeling for the personality of the Prophets a little bit so I'm going to read some passages you can follow along with me the first one is they are sensitive to evil there you can see that on the hand of the personality so they they are aware of it so often we tend to even when you hear the big evil things you're like oh that's terrible but then tomorrow you forget it because there's something else that's happened in your life they are sensitive to not just the big evil things but even the little things that go wrong in the world and they are they're broken by it and they're hurt by it so turn with me to Amos eight if you want or just listen. I have tried. To. As I read the prophets in magine there their personalities their passion for for God and His truth so this is this is a vision that Amos is receiving and it starts in verse one that's the Lord God show he be will the basket of summer fruit and he said Amos What do you see I said about summer fruit and the word for this is so in Hebrew so that's only significant because of what he God says next then the Lord said to me the end which is gets so he sees this it's basket and it's going to remind him always of the end it's the end has come upon my people Israel I will not possible by them anymore the songs of the temple should be wailing in that day so this is God's the praises to God and instead it's going to be this wailing so is the Lord God many dead bodies everywhere they should be thrown out in silence hear this you who swallow up the needy and make the poor of the land fail saying when will the new moon be over that we may sell grain and the Sabbath so we can trade wheat. And I talk about this with my students how often do we say that I mean I struggle with this too I love the Sabbath but if you've got something big happening you're working on something like a just time sundown Oh sure no I can go do you know I mean this is talking to us is the same kind of struggle that we face making that even a small the shekel large just problems do just a little tweaks that we don't quite do right maybe a little white lies falsifying the scales by deceit that we may buy the poor for silver in the needy for a pair of sandals even sell the bad wheat. The Lord has sworn by the part of Jacob surely I will not forget any of their works so not the land tremble for this and every one more new dwells in it all of a chill swell like the river he even subside like they were. Of Egypt it will come to pass in that day so the Lord God that I will make the sun go down at noon I will darken the earth in broad daylight I will turn your feast into morning in your songs until I am in Taishan and will bring sackcloth in every waste and boldness on every head I will make it like morning for an only son and it's and like a better day the whole of the days are coming says the Lord that I will send a famine on the land not a famine of bread nor thirst for water but of hearing the words of the Lord why because God doesn't want them to hear it no because they don't want to hear it they want to live in their sin they want to leave God and this is what the prophets speak about they speak God's heart they say God wants to bring his word but you don't care you know listen to your own thing. So they are sensitive to evil luminous and explosive language for six time I'm not going to read another one for that you can hear that even in the one I just read the language is hard the language is full of imagery the language is difficult to hear because it's very vivid. And there's a lot of the prophets to speak like this and when we start talking about who is a will read someone who is a a two where he's describing their harlotry their adultery against God and he describes it in graphic terms why I think it's because this is the last chance God has with these people. He's doing everything he possibly can to reach their hearts it's not that God speaks harshly most of the time I think this is why we often get this mixed up too because we read their soul much of the Old Testament as the prophet. Because God cared about them so much he was trying to reach them it was his last ditch effort he said I think I've got to do everything I possibly can almost all of these prophets were right around the same time right before as well Phil and right before Judas hell so God was at the very end saying I've done everything I can do. And you still don't care and you're still not listening so what am I going to do I'm going to speak explosively because then maybe just maybe maybe it will catch your attention maybe you'll think maybe you'll look at things a little bit differently so they use this language that's often hard for us to hear we tend to think about just butt off honestly if you read a lot of what Jesus said and if you read it with passion and we're sayings this is Jesus Himself speaking this is God speaking through them it's God's passionate heart coming out longing for them to return to him. They were iconoclasts what is an iconoclast. Image smasher So what would that need in everyday life or for profit might they be doing. A naysayer OK So they're going against the grain right this is what everyone else is saying they've got this image set up they've got this particular way of looking at things and they're saying it's not that way at all it's actually the other way entirely so they move. Yes so they're turning things upside down on their head and they're they're saying things that most people of the time would if that were blasphemous because they were saying such strong things so look will stay in Amos Amos for. And he uses this. Phrase that the other prophets use a lot to talk and you know throughout. God is calling his people to come to him so but he does it completely unexpected things so Amos for verse four come to Basle where was Vestal. What was that all. OK the house of the Lord it was the temple it was where that was one of the worship places so he says come to Buffalo and worship. No. SAN transcribe because they knew this is what they were doing there so he's saying these ironic statements are at Gil gal another worship place multiply. Trance crash. Brain your sacrifices every morning your ties every three days off are thought of as a pig's giving with eleven proclaim in the NOW IT'S FREE WILL offerings for this you love. Your children of Israel says the Lord God So if he's turning upside down this is what they were doing they were coming to the temple and they were offering all their sacrifices and they were doing exactly the right things on Sabbath in the temple and then they would leave and go home and then horribly against everyone else completely they got in worship other gods and so God is saying you know this doesn't cut it for me. What you're doing is wrong and your worship means nothing to me if you are not living it outside of the temple but this was a very hard thing for the people here they didn't want to hear this. So actually they hated Amos and will come back to this and they speak very strong words against him and they they try to destroy him but he was willing to speak these words that show that God said you know your worship which is meaningful to me and this is why I think if you've heard that the prophets were against sacrifices unlike the kings you may have heard that somewhere I think this is the reason it's not they were against sacrifices because in many places they say you know what sacrifices are important but what they were against was only doing those sacrifices and not living right in the rest of their lives and so this is what I think we often against trouble with today we go to church on the right we do all the right things the church we pay times we do whatever but what are we doing outside of that you our lives show that we are administering life show that we are Christians our lives show that we are followers of Jesus I hope so but I know I look at my own life and I. I'm convicted by these prophets words because it's not just a doing of the right things God wants our hearts He wants everything not just a right form of worship. A lonely so they were very lonely they spent a lot of time in the leanest So now we're going to read. At least a brief thing here still in a mess will just stay here for the sake of time Amos five. Starting in verse ten. So often they would speak of this some of the larger prophetic books like Jeremiah he spends half of the book describing his loneliness and how broken he was and how hurt he was by people but but many of the others just mention it in passing because there their message from God is more important but look at verse ten here in Chapter five they hate the one who rebukes in the gate they abhor the one who speaks up rightly Therefore because you tread on the pointed grain taxes from and though you build houses of human stone yet you shall not dwell in them you have planted pleasant dinners but you shall not drink wine from them for I know your manifold transgressions your mighty sins afflicting the just taking bribes diverting the poor from justice at the gate therefore the prudent keep silent at that time for it is an evil time so he recognises that it would be much wiser for him to stay silent and he doesn't he's call to speak call to tell God's message and then he says Seek good and not evil that you may live so the Lord God of hosts will be with you as you have spoken hate evil love good establish justice in the gate it may be that the Lord God of course will be gracious to them as well so it's not that God doesn't want to be gracious he does that they just don't. Stew in their own thing. So the prophets were very lonely they were partners with God So they were overwhelmed by sympathy with God. Turned to Micah. Chapter seven. Coming to this one tomorrow spend more time there but. He goes back and forth and you'll find this. There they're soul in tune with God that they many times are talking for a few verses of about God speaking and then they switch into their own experience in this switch back to God speaking and then they switch back to their own experience so this is often what makes it confusing I think for us to read too if we just sit down and read one passage it's hard if you read the whole book through it's a lot easier to kind of follow their thought but that this is very common in the prophets it's easier to see in the bigger prophets and it can be a little bit more confusing when the book is small but they often do this they'll go back and forth it's as if they are so connected with God that they are almost one with him in their we experience and that kind of goes into the last one to be there their content is experience so God has them experience what he's experiencing so that they can then speak to the people so they speak to God the experience of the people and they speak to the people the experience of God So there this kind of go between that they understand both of them so Micah seven first one whoa is me Mike here crying like those who gather some are for it's like those who clean vintage grapes there's no cluster to eat or the first right fruit which my soul desires the face full have perished from the earth there is no one upright among men they all lie in wait for blood every man has his brother with a net that they may successfully do evil with both hands the prince asks for gifts the judge seeks a bribe the great many others as evil the star they seem together the best of them is like a brier the most upright a sharper than a thorn hedge the day of your watchman and your punishment comes national be there for spree plexi do not trust in a friend do not put your confidence in a companion guard the doors of your mouth from her who lives in your bosom you can't trust anyone. For son dishonors father daughter rises against her mother daughter in law against her mother in law a man's enemies are the men of his own household therefore I will look to the Lord I will wait for the God of my salvation my God will hear me he knows God for he doesn't no one else gets him do not rejoice over me my enemy when I fall I will rise when I sit in darkness the Lord will be a light to me I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him until he cleans my case and executes justice for me he will bring me forth to the light I will see his righteousness so he's alternating back and forth this is what God is saying. I'm a sinner along with all these other people but I also am connected to God and have his message to share to them so it is really difficult place that they are put in of knowing their own sin and knowing they must rely only on God But yet having to call out people for sin as well is really tough spot for them but they so they they feel this incredible sympathy with God knowing his heart going to the same experiences is going through will to be talking about Hosea in a little bit and Jose of course is the most typical one that we talk about is experiencing without experience because the people were completely given over to adultery with other gods and with within themselves with people and so God says in order for you to speak to this I need you to experience what it's like being married to someone commits adultery. So he gets it he gets it because he experienced it and again I think this is a last resort by God he does the same thing with easy kill his wife dies so a lot of things God has them experience so that they can speak more accurately about God's own heart and experience. So there's a lot more we could do there but we'll move on to God's original plan just to. Brief comment about this again this kind of goes into how to understand the prophets as a whole but. God's original plan of believe was to ever have to send prophets. He wanted to know was people heart to heart and soul and he wanted them to be lights in the world and this is what he says back way in the very beginning Genesis twelve. You don't have to turn there necessarily if you don't want to but when God first called Abraham He says this is chapter Genesis twelve one to three get out of your country from your family from your father's house to a land I will show you I will make you a great nation I will bless you and make your name great you should be a blessing I will bless those who bus you a curse those who curse you and we usually just kind of don't even think about that but yeah God's going to make Israel is a great nation but what why is the purpose of that the purpose is in you all the families of the earth to be blessed so God's purpose was not for them to just hold this knowledge to themselves and were so much better than you because we are the true God in your terrible and we're you know well that's what they did but God's plan was for them to tell it to the world but instead they didn't. Know way they start turning away and God there is along with them just like he does with the Canaanite so she had time to get into that issue but God gives the probation the same time to Israel as he gave to the Canaanites about four hundred years and their iniquity is finally full and he's like to do one thing more and everything I can possible do mean just the same thing for Israel he does everything you can possibly do we send prophet after prophet after prophet saying well you please come back to me I made this covenant with you I love you I married you please please please. Don't they don't so God sends the prophets with more and more intensity to try to reach them and they just kill the problems and don't listen to don't care and they go into captivity so what the prophets are. Are speaking out of this time of almost going into. To be in there saying it's over me if only you come back we would have to go into captivity but they realize that probably they're not going to so they have a picture they have a vision they say you know even if you do go to captivity God's going to bring you back and he's going to make this great nation out of you again if if you're willing will you please be willing so God's original plan was I don't think ever have to have profits but they came about because of arson and our mass and our lack of. Lack of studying the word on our own and I think the same thing kind of applies today I I'm always moved by some of Ellen White statements about how you know if you study the Bible as you should might not. And it just always convicts me I need to be more of a student of the word and that's what the prophets always call me too as well they are always pointing you back to the Torah they're pointing you back to God they're saying go back to the to your Foundation study the Word for yourself be a servant of God yourself wouldn't need what they don't fortunately so classical number three there are on Who are the minor prophets again so these are all except for Zechariah a little bit of Zechariah They're all what are we call classical prophets which mean they don't have apocalyptic elements in them so it's not like Daniel where you've got a lot of symbolism and. I have here is some of the things I don't we're not going to go spend a ton of time on this but the idea is that the focus is local and national So their purpose again is to say are right you know they're focused on is well they're focused on getting Israel back faithful to God so but that doesn't mean they don't look beyond that they do they just do it in a different way than the apocalyptic prophets do. So their frame work again is this covenant relationship with God So they're always taking back to the covenant they're always saying the covenant is where. An. I believe actually and more and more scholars are seeing this actually skip McCarty at Andrews. Has a powerful book if you want to read more about covenants in granite or ingrained and he talks about how really there's just one covenant that God makes and there's different manifestations of it at different times but it's always been that God wants our hearts he never had rules and regulations in there that he was going to do that in us when we gave him our hearts and he takes responsibility for that is powerful so that's their that's their focus is he wants to bring them back to God's heart he wants them to return their heart to God So that's the covenantal picture. A long time prophecies by that I mean you don't have any symbolic numbers so there's time prophecies but they give you a full span of time forty years in the next hour seventy years are determined for a battle and so there are there are very specific time frames that happen there's no symbols involved. Three aspects of fulfillment what I mean by that is that you can see this and we will see this more clearly it most clearly I think it's a of the minor prophets you can see very clearly and I say as well but their focus is saying all right we we believe we hope we trust that if you return to God you'll be faithful and Israel will be this light of the world they're supposed to be and everyone will just want to come to Israel and want to follow God and then God will come again yes they but they realize that that's probably not going to happen so they also see that these prophecies are all going to people killed in the Messiah so we're actually as we go through each of the prophets we're going to be focused on the messianic focus because I really think that's their focus even though their their longing for Israel to come back they realize that they're not going to and so they say these prophecies Yes they're indented for Israel but they're probably not going to be faithful so the Messiah they will all be fulfilled in him and then through the Messiah everyone that believes in the Messiah will also have. Fulfilled in themselves and then at the final and of time when God comes back the day of the Lord the real full day of the Lord then they'll all be fulfilled then too so it's one fulfillment in who God is in Israel but it's these aspects kind of like the covenant that are different aspects are OUR that they're focusing on so most of their focus is on the national Israel but they also look beyond especially towards the later prophets after the coming back from the Exxon they realize Israel's wells are still not following God and they're really looking to the Messiah and they're looking beyond that to this final end time fulfillment of all of these prophecies so I think we do ourselves that we get ourselves into trouble when we say well when we talk about conditionality and unconditionality it's the last one there and we say that all of these prophecies were conditional So Israel that was unfaithful so none of them are going to happen and I really don't think we can go there because that's not what the rest of the Bible to us it's not a New Testament So what are we done wrong and I think this this kind of aspect of. It's conditional sort each person whether they believe it or not so it was conditional for Israel they chose not to so then it became fulfilled in the Messiah through the Messiah we have the opportunity to choose whether we are going to be a part of God's people or not are these prophecies going to be fulfilled in us if we are willing they happen in a spiritual way and they are applied to us in the New Testament does this and I believe there's foundations in the Old Testament as to why the New Testament does that and then they're all going to be fulfilled literally at the end of time when God comes again so I think it's we get into trouble there are probably these complicated and I think this is maybe another reason why we don't address the minor prophets because they don't have these you know symbolic things that are we love in it and it's amazing and all the things that God has given us there but often these messages are much more. And powerful to what we're dealing with today and so we often it's easier to just say well they're probably not really relevant they were just talking as well. But that's not what the rest of Scripture does with it so we've got to be really careful in how we talk about these things I think. So their language is poetry. Poetry Hebrew poetry again one of the reasons why the prophets are not read very often I think in fact when I teach Hebrew I I don't actually get them into poetry until the third semester so their second year of Hebrew because it's hard so if you're reading different versions of the prophets you'll have sometimes very different verses how did they get that get from the same Hebrew it's because the Hebrews complicated and confusing just like English poetry is but if you then you may add the second thing of learning a dead language on top of that different language it's so Hebrew poetry's has not a lot of the same markers that narratives do so it's just tough Hebrew but there are some things that are that are eight that you'll be able to see as you're just looking at the English so you see a lot of repetition so we tend to think of repetition is bad writing in English for then it was good writing so repetition you would want to do that if you didn't do that you were a bad writer so it's just very different ways of thinking a lot of imagery of course and poetry and these visit imageries you we've read some of them already We'll read some more intense emotion. You just see the heart of the prophet in the heart of God and in these poems God and if you look through the Bible actually most of the time God speaks in Goa tree which is kind of cool I think actually that God You can just see God's heart in just his credibly creative mind and I think maybe that's why it's complicated complex too because it's God's words and just Anyway. Parallelism So this is how it rhymes so it rhymes by thought rather than by sound there are. Some rhyming is by sound we mentioned one already in Amos the cats and there are some of that there's plays and words but a lot of the rhyming happens by thought and I've got we used to think there were just like two different kinds of others we know how do you know there's zillions more than here but there's a lot of different ways of parables in that happens some of these will recognise. But I'll try to explain just briefly going to the source of the semantic types of parallelism are parallelism that has the same amount of words or a different amount of words on each line so it goes by number of words for instance let me give you an example that will work in English to. Hear this all people. Give ear all inhabitants of the world OK so you've got the two element those are only four Hebrew words rather than you know whatever we have twenty English words but so it's the same number of words in each line so that would be these kinds of relationships with each other what happens with semantic so incomplete is where you're missing a word so like example of this would be a a one three an ox knows its master a donkey the crib of its owner OK so it's missing the word the verb in the middle of the second line so these kinds of things are happening in this semantic parallelism that happens. You also have antithetical these were these are where the the elements are opposing each other so it's giving you the opposite type of information. That's often happens in the proverbs Kayasth it means it's reversing elements so they are reversed in order. Logical so logical as a separate category this is ot this happens a lot of the process and these are combined as well too I mean there's people that just spend their lives just analyzing I it overwhelms me because often they're interconnected all of this stuff. But a narrative is telling a story. Through the two lines so for instance this is one from Proverbs nineteen the slugger Barry says hand in the dish and will not even think bring it back up to his mouth so it's this idea of the words the two lines are telling a story that's the narrative element of it. Cause and effect it's telling you the cause of something in the effect of something else sometimes they can ask questions and then they'll be a response guys that Korea Malakai which are coming at the end after the exile they often speak in questions of the of these questions and responses will see that when we get there. Comparisons So comparing two things this is like this this is not like that and then finally the third category is rhetorical So this is where you have a lot of this crazy imagery that they often get that the emblems the imagery and they're comparing things one to another and just describing things in terms of imagery and numbers again back to Amos there is a very beginning he lists these eight different nations and all of the things that they've done wrong and it gives number after number after number or number or number so I don't expect you to understand all of what I just said but just so you have an idea of it's much more much more rich than maybe what you're just reading as you're reading on the surface so but you can still get all this in English I teach the prophets class actually often too I mean I wish sometimes I wish it was just a majors but I'm glad that it's a class that we lodge and its students come into as well they don't know Hebrew but I think they still can see all this I have them do this once a week on each on a on a passage and they have to analyze the poetry and try to understand it and they come up with all sorts of different things but it doesn't really matter I just want them to think about the fact that you can you can do this in English as well so it's not as easy because there's different numbers of words but anyway you can get an idea of what's going on there and how they're how they're working scenes. OK so. There's many more. Themes in this these are some of the ones that I find the most helpful and. You would have full as I'm looking at the prophets of God's grace provision marriage to his people that includes anyone who will follow him so often the prophet says as will be going through them they are there speaking to everyone yes they talking they're talking is what they're getting all the other nations to they're saying go where you you know will you please come back to God Will you please serve him in worship and he longs for you and he has grace for you too. Will read a passage in Amos tomorrow were God says I brought on the fill us times out of caste or just use the same words for his bringing is or a lot of Egypt so God Iraq's with and works with other people I don't believe actually that that you know yes God's idea was for Israel to be the one to reach these people but they worked so god other waste and he keeps working with all the peoples so God's grace goes far beyond his or God chose as or not because they were special because he was. Because they were little actually to run ins and chose them because they were helpless and little and small not because they were great and powerful and able to do my own things so he gives me great hope you know my God isn't looking at people and saying these people are going to be awesome so I'm going to choose them No he said These people are tiny and vulnerable and I'm going to choose them and so people can see how good how much Christ. And how much a Lessing I want to give people. So the unconditional promise of the Messiah in a second when they're so this is just you out the prophets everywhere they can't help but talking about it every single one of them even the smallest ones talk about the pros the promise of the Messiah and they. They cannot stop talking about it and it's fun can it. Well there's no conditions on the messiah coming so even whatever the people do they know that they're going to mess up and they say you know the Messiah is going to come so we won't have time to go into all of the places where where it's there but it's everywhere rebuke of sin and rebellion by God's people so this is the sad part that the prophets I think all of them say they don't want to say because it's not about God. Attacking a people who don't know these are people who not only signed on the dotted line a covenant with God but the God rescued them God did everything for God did impossible things for them and almost immediately they didn't care. And God has reminded me of this often in my life when I tend to when I look at Israel and I say you know. You know I mean God went to the Red Sea that you were thinking and god like hell. You can you know I mean God does some amazing thing in my life and then the next week I'm you know that something horrible happens and I'm like oh you know you don't care about me like I just did the other bed do you not remember so it's so easy for us to call Israel out and often God speaks to my heart to the prophet saying you know. When you let and still work in your life even though. You keep turning away. The warning have divine judgment so again the prophets are not coming and saying have to like done zap now they're saying and I'm giving you every single possible chance that I can warning warning warning. Eventually actually to people do listen in and I think that those who came during the exile in after the exile during the exile really were some of the reasons that the P.P. The prophets after the exile don't have to harp on the people quite so much because they did get some. Thing. Not enough but they they did they never actually worship other gods after that so they learned that they started doing other crazy things but becoming legal lists and whatever but they least stop that one thing so the prophets did make a difference they did help them seen some things that they were doing wrong. Again a call to repentance for all nations who will spend will go to Jonah here in a minute Jonah is not speaking to as well he's speaking to a Syria they are great horrible neighbor who destroyed then. And God is calling to him to. And I. Choose Jonah first because it's actually probably one of the first prophets too but he just really reminds me that it's just not about us and I think we often I don't know I struggle with that thinking you know God God is only working through agita And yes he works ravenous but he's working through everyone he possibly can and working to reach everyone he possibly can through every one he possibly can and so often you know we it's easy to forget that I think but God as God is at work. And he's he's he's working powerfully mightily. Promise of restoration and God's mercy again to all who will listen so everywhere even the prophets that are the most broken talking the most broken times of the people when they're totally given over to evil there always is hope there's always a promise of restoration and God is always saying you know if you would only come. Always restoration there's always grace. This is the amazing thing to me about God because I don't think I could be that way. And I you know the Lord is. So merciful I think we are much harder on ourselves and other people than God ever is. Look through the Bible and the Old Testament even is often relegated to the god was harsh and cruel but he actually hardly ever does the things that the law says now it's always gracious. You repent to. Come back to me I don't know if you've read the story they have recently I went always gets to me and he's this horrible King these kills God's prophet see he just is evil and worshipping other gods but right at the end of his life he would pence and god like repentance Oh don't worry I won't do any of the things to you I said I was going to do because you repented Oh yeah and then of course he turns back away again but he got his just. For Hearts Bible and I think we get a misunderstanding of that because we don't think of the prophets and realize that there are these two critical times when Israel and then Judah were about to be destroyed because of their sin so God is doing everything he can to reach them so I think we get this whole big picture of the Old Testament based on these huge number of prophetic books but they're all at this one time in God It's called a last ditch effort to reach them with His mercy and grace. But even then he says all right the exiles not be forever it's a redemptive exile it's redemptive punishment that's what God loves to do doesn't like to punish to destroy He loves to punish tricky always as well. All right so Jonah. Jonah is a really cool book I wish time goes so fast OK. Jonah is a book of parallel structures so you often think of many of the many of the minor prophets are in K. as I'm so. Those of you don't know what it is probably most of you have heard about it but it's like a mountain climbing structure so you are climbing a mountain. Action and I love to climb mountains climbed Actually I going to go take my youth time some more in Colorado this summer but you go up the mountain you got to start with these big trees in that you're going up and up into smaller trees smaller trees and then finally no trees you have these like big mirrored plants and then those go away and then there's just nothing except these tiny little plants and then you get to the top and then you reverse that going back down in the day no plants and ten little plants in the weird plants in the smaller trees in the bigger trees in your back down so and that's exactly what a cry as a mist so it goes in one order A.B.C. and then you get to the top and then it goes D C B A going back down. But unlike our way of writing we don't actually people do writing horizons they just don't realize it they still do which is not as common but the center is the most important and it has been so not the not the introduction of the conclusion which is what we often do and there are other writings that do that too but and it cries in the centers that is the crucial point a lot of the prophets are written in the center comes to the climax that take own point and then they review it all the way back down. But Jonah is in panel structure so chapter one matches Chapter Three Chapter two matches Chapter four I so we're just going to look at a few of the parallels just you can get an idea of that. So look at one verse one. The word of the Lord came to Joan of the son of Amitai saying Arise go to Nineveh that great city in crowd against it for the wickedness is come up against me go to three Verse one. The word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time saying Arise go to another that great city and preach to it the message that I tell you so he saying the same thing just slightly different Friday it's interesting he says in the first time cry out against it their wickedness in the second time he's like All right Jonah is going to run away so I need to tell him to tell me tell them exactly what I want to say so I'm not going to let you choose. The message this time you're going to speak what I want you to speak I think that's amusing God as God is so gracious with Jonah here. So that's one of them. You have three days so how long was going on the fish three days are right then look at Chapter three on verse three Jonah rose went to Nineveh according to one of the Lord now didn't Nineveh was exiting the great city a three day journey in extent OK So you got these three days and then the three days were still debating on what that means some people say it took him three days to get through the city others but the city's problem or the big then other people say it was you know a three day in extent you have a lot of people that would live in the outskirts of the city that would come into the city during times of attack and so they would they said that that distance was three days no one really knows exactly what it means but the three days are there again. You have the word parish so in the first chapter the sailors say this several times they're like they're afraid of perishing and then they call out to God and they say please don't let us perish. Look at verse fourteen in chapter one they cry out to the Lord and say we pray a lord please do not let us perish for this man's life do not charge us with innocent blood for you oh Lord have done as it these do. So that the pagan sailors are crying out to God that they may not perish in chapter three who cries out to not perish. Not Jonah. Then of lights right so they're saying the king is saying in verse three verse seven Let neither man nor beast heard a flock taste anything or do not to eat or drink water but let man to be speaker with sackcloth and cry mightily to God Yes but everyone turns from his evil way from the violence that is in his hands who can tell if God will relent and turn away from his fears anger so the meaning of hearers so it's very interesting because. Well and this gets into a similar situation for one and three you've got these pagan people crying to God please don't want to start an actual crime to ya way they cry to God by name which is crazy Jonah hardly ever doesn't book and in two and four Jonah is praying basically that he can die. So in jest or two he's like he's basically going to die it's so horrible why you know you killed me God and then in chapter four he's like just leave me please I want to die because I mean you know these people are going to live so it's this huge opposition between Jonah's prayers to die and the people's prayers the pagan people's prayers to God to live not perish. Of course oh. Well. That's so true and I think Jonah speaks wrongly to us here you know he is the prophet that sent by God I mean he's supposed to be the faithful one right he's supposed to be the one that understands God but what does he say to God In chapter four he's like in Tampa for it but it displeased Jonah exceedingly I mean he's upset that they're being saved but you're right I mean so often we feel that way while we have the truth these other people are nothing well I do believe God has given us a message in a special truth but that doesn't mean these other people are nothing and it doesn't mean they can't cry out to God and God hear them too and that we should be looking for that and looking for opportunities to help them see that he knows his catechism what he says in verse two there he prayed to the Lord he says all Lord was this not what I said when I was in my country therefore I fled previously to churches for I know that your gracious and mercy. Slow anger abundant in loving kindness relenting from our I knew what I knew what I know what I told you I told you we're going to save them that makes me a false prophet and so I just want to die. And you know it's I'm making it probably more dramatic than he was but I don't know he seems kind of dramatic in this. He's he's quoting directly from Exodus thirty four which is the main text that almost all of the quote prophets quote from it's God's own words where he describes who we is I the LORD God merciful gracious longsuffering abound in a bounding and mercy in truth and having mercy just how does it. And that's probably actually thousands of generations so he's he's misapplying And I think you're right so often we misapply God's grace and mercy. Yes. I think so because I think he intentionally leaves it there I believe Jonah wrote it I mean we don't know when told us he wrote it but if you look actually the last text I have there was second to excuss text Second Kings fourteen. Actually mentions Jonah here again. As a faithful prophet. Kingsport two hundred twenty three in the fifteenth year of Amazigh of the scent of king of Juda Jeroboam the son of George King of Israel became king its Mary and reigned forty one years and he did evil in the side of the Lord he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the seventy bad who had made his will sin he restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamas to the sea of are about according to the word of the Lord God of his are which he had spoken through his servant Jonah the son of Amitai the prophet who is from God Or so it seems to indicate seems to indicate that Jonah was faithful to God He was a servant of God He was someone who serve God and we don't know exactly when this was was this before he. To that are after we're not really told but I I tend to think it was I tend to think it was after but that's just my own. Oh. Yes but between that time they turned away from God because will come today home and may home is a prophet directly against another and they are destroyed because of their sin so. I don't know the full history in between that time but for a long time when Nineveh laid lay bare and I think I'm not sure that the present a city is on it because I know that excavations are going on the tell where which is what happens when you know one cities destroyed and then it the next city just builds on top of that basically so you end up with this mountain it's called the tell an archaeological tell so the modern day city is not actually on that is beside it so but yeah I don't know all of the good that would be an interesting thing to look into but I do know that unfortunately never was faithful for a while and then they turned away from God Again I'm. Like. Yeah I may be wrong maybe but I know I mean a Syria was the one who ends up destroying Israel so they are the ones who take them to captivity and completely scatter them and destroy them so they're what they actually become after this one of the most ruthless Nations. They do horrific things to people but that doesn't mean that you know again I think we often think about it as these groups of people but was everyone that way I don't think so you know I'm sure there were people who were faithful just like. You find in all nations so maybe those people stayed true to God and I don't know but that would be that would be a really interesting research project. I'll expect you to tell me about it's not just I mean it maybe I'm one of my students look at it and see if they could figure anything out but the really cool. Correct. Let's see here are right so we have crying out I think we already mentioned I mention the perishing you have the crying out of the sailors in chapter one and the king in the people in the animals in chapter three interestingly there the animals are said to also put on sock with an Ashes and this was a common practice in in the ancient and we say but they believe that animals had connection with God and I actually do too I think it's not as much as humans do but there's very good indication that animals have some sort of relationship with God as well they listen to him God actually speaks to the fish he doesn't speak to any of the other nation nature stuff he just appoints them to do things when he talks to the she's like go and you know just as he speaks to the fish and tells him to rescue Jonah So it's very interesting thing in that the very end of the book Jonah for. When God is God as you know goddess of gentle he says in verse eight he wished death for himself he said it is better for me to die than live this is the third time he said this and God said to Jonah is it right you can be angry about the planet so gentle just asking questions and he said it is alright for me to be angry even to death but the Lord said You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored or made a grow which came up on a night in Paris tonight and should I not getting into that great city in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right and their left and also many enemies. So God didn't want to destroy the city for the animal sake as well as for the people sake so God is caring here for all of the life that is in. Often in a. More connections between two and four we don't have time to go into all of them but Jonah is praying in both of them buy it for life he's begging for his life in chapter two in that he's begging for his death in chapter four. You have had mentioned So he says the waters have come over my head in chapter two and chapter four we have the head the plant is coming over his head to give him shade from the hot sun which God brought as well. So there's a lot of interconnections between these these two groupings of chapters so it's very obviously very intentionally done because you could tell the story without that but I think it's reminding you at least in one case I think one way one thing that this is doing the purpose of it is to show you God Second chances. I mean this is his prophet who should be way more accountable than the pagans in the sailors and you know the Ninevites and instead he's totally turned away from God but started God still gives him a second chance another chance and a fourth chance so it's this highlighting these chances that God always longs to give to people even people that are is petulant and crazy Jonah. But again like several of you mentioned I think that's often something that we need to examine our own hearts with where are we when we are looking at other people are we acting like Jonah. Are we doing what God is asking us to do even if it's hard. I'm sure he was like what like Don't you want to be a prophet to your own people or why don't you wear them they're horrible I mean they flay people they impale them alive they're they're horrific who they're not going to care about you. Know I want to go talk to them. Go tell them that I I want to give them another chance and it's been a good reminder to me it's so easy for me to write off people you know there's no way bill comes up with we don't know God knows. They're hearts and so every person is someone that God can reach still potentially if they're willing. The book of contrasts of already mentioned some of them but you've got Jonah as this amazing evangelists probably the most amazing man as we have in the Bible you know the entire city hundred twenty thousand people all repentant three days I mean that's insane what wonderful lucky What wonderful blessings God gives him and he still is just like no see by yes to question. Yes I think you're right I think you're very right and I it's a slightly different situation but it's very similar Yes because. I think I think there is a sense to which we at least most of the time are wanting people to repent but then we get frustrated if God gives more time to them to repent right and he doesn't even want them to repent and he's just like the kids and be overthrown and then he goes and sits outside the setting is like come on destroy them now you know so he's he's just waiting for the destruction to come so what you're right it's very important for us. It's easy to say come on guy Where'd you hear rather than thank you Lord for taking more time because and maybe more people will be rich. My. They're not. I think so this is to me the story is about Joan up more than it is about Nineveh you know it's about his realizations of eventually hopefully you hope you realize. But just this contrast and this is why I think he does realize actually because he's writing in these contrasts and he's I think he's recognizing. His own problems eventually. I know. You know. Well. Yes it does and how often we have misunderstandings about God you know and there's many a times when I have many a time when I have been talking to God and telling him something I'm not I'm upset with and God kind of gently helps me realize you kind of had a wrong picture of me in this situation and so yes I think only as we are talking to God Can he help reframe our perspectives and Joe and I did keep talking to God and God kept working gently with him hard and he works gently with us to I mean I'm amazed with when because I I spoke a little bit dramatically but I think also there was a sense to which you know when prophets gave a prophecy that didn't come true they were often killed. So I think this is part of his sense of you know why don't you just kill me now God if you're not going to make my prophecy come true maybe I should just die and I think there's actually reflections. In the story of a large when he's depressed and discouraged and God In both cases comes gently to them and ask questions and helps them to see a different perspective I totally agree with you I don't think it's bashing Joan I think it's just a helping us see Joan as personality and perspective and how we can learn and grow from it. Yeah it's pretty crazy yeah. Yeah at least flawed internally it's you know Zeke it was pretty probably pretty bad to the teacher when Jeremiah because they were. Yes but as far as completely running away yes like the others at least did it even though they were like This is horrible I hate this what are you doing God but they did it was done I was like I don't care I'm leaving Yeah you're right God God works through us despite our our mess so great about OK let's move on to who's a make sure I don't miss anything else here. You can read Joel two that they the king actually quotes the same passage as Joel two does so he knows the king of Nineveh seems to know God's character and know this Exodus thirty four passage so there seems to be this element of remembrance that they that he had even it's really amazing and Jesus of course in Matthew twelve mentions Jonah there so the sign of Jonah So he's there's a lot of connections with Jonah and the rest of Scripture but we don't have time to go into them you can read them there on your own if you would like to. So Hosea. There is full of this imagery of experience experience relationship with God. And let's just look well you know the story. Be that people are this is right B.. For Israel falls Israel the ten tribes about to the Northern Kingdom is about to go into captivity and they are worshipping other gods and they're prostituting themselves both literally and spiritually and God is saying you know the only way I'm going to go to reach them they haven't heard any other way is by you experiencing the same thing and talking to them about your own experience with that so he has Jose marry a prostitute and I think there's very good internal evidence in the text that she already was a prostitute she didn't become a prostitute afterwards so that he because otherwise the entire imagery falls down that's at least one reason and you can see from the English I think there's good reasons either to but the entire picture of what God is doing falls apart and he married someone who was already on say four and continues to be unfaithful to him and God says I don't want to give up I still love him and I still want to be in relationship and I want you to be able to experience the same thing so let's just read some of these passage here that I have thirteen. Read all of it here. Starting in verse one when Ephraim spoke trembling he exulted himself in Israel but when he offended your bail worship he died now they sin more and more they have made for themselves molded images idols of their silver according to their skill all of it is the work of Craftsman then they say of them let the men who sacrifice kissed the camps therefore they should be like the morning cloud and like the early do the passes away like chaff blown off from a threshing floor like smoke from a chimney yet I am the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt you shall know no God but me there is no savior besides me I knew you in the wilderness in the land of great drought when they had pasture they were filled they were filled in their heart was exultant therefore they forgot me this is exactly what God promised or God predicted. It happens and please don't I worry that when you get to the land I'm going to give you you're just going to forget and you're not going to care. And it goes on and describes all of their these other gods that they worship and they go after so God alternates you see God's heart in this book alternating between anger and compassion and you can imagine. If your spouse leaves you and becomes a prostitute you would have this tension you love then but they've left you when you're angry. This Real Love does that if you really love someone you're going to not be like if they leave you just go well whatever who cares know you're going to be like oh really be so angry and then you're going to be like but come back please so with this tension in God He has both of these He's really upset and frustrated because he's done everything for them and they was to him but he's also hurt and broken and wants them back because he loves so it's this it's this constant emotional tension God goes. Hosea six. Verse four oh. What shall I do to you Judah What shall I do to you for your faithfulness and like a morning cloud. Like the early do it goes away therefore I have human them by the prophet they have slain them by the words of my mouth. And your judgments are like the light that goes forth cry desire mercy sacrifice the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings let your heart. But like men they transgress the covenant there they dealt treacherously with me Gilley at us it is a city of evil doers and defiled with blood as bands of robbers lie in wait for mans of the company of priests murder on the way to shock him they commit lewdness I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel there is hardly a tree of Ephraim Israel is defiled. Also do the harvest is appointed for you when you return a captive my people. Goes back and forth and back and forth I don't know what to do with you I love you I care about you please come back but what are you doing how does this. Back and forth that God exhibits in his emotions and his care for them and again you can hear that alternating is that it was a talking as it got out talking as it was it talking is that God talking it's both of them I think of me here you're you're seeing both of their hearts coming out in this. The longing for reunion that right before this in five fifteen we'll just read six one to three. Come let us return to the Lord three is torn and he will heal us he is stricken but he will bind us up after two days he we vive us on the third day you will raise us up that we may live in His sight let us know let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord his going forth as established as the morning he will come to us like the rain like the latter in the former rain to the earth. So this this God's heart is saying please come back also or give you will start all over again and it will be all be wonderful and will you please won't you I would your heart want you to go up to these things. I want you to go out to these long deeds that you do. This. Very literal solidarity with God I'm not going to read chapter two you can read through that because I want to spend these last two minutes in Chapter eleven but it it's very graphic imagery there Jose is describing what the people do and they've left God and they've turned away from him and they've prostituted themselves after other gods and also after hermits and crossed. Into just a very sad picture and but who is they understand this because he's been through it with his own spouse so I want to spend the last few minutes on Jose at eleven because I think. This passage again you can. Mentally see God's character and heart here. Will just start I going to read it because it's just so powerful when Israel was a child I loved him out of Egypt I called my son as they called them so they went from them they sacrificed to the bales they burn incense to carved images so God like I did all the stuff for you I loved you I cared for you but you went away. But I brought you back and I taught you how to walk taking them by their arms you never seen you know if you see a little kid learning to walk I mean they're falling over all the time but you don't you know they fall over and you kick them and they get up no you're like. You walk again I mean this is God's picture of how he's dealing with us we messed up when we fall down he loves to watch us learn to walk taught us to learn how to walk but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords with bands of love I was to them as those who take the yoke from their necks I stooped down I said. This imagery of closeness care provision. He shall not return to the land of Egypt the Assyrian should be as king they refused to repent the sword shall slashing the city's devours districts and consume the because their own councils my people are bent on backsliding from me though they call to the Most High not at all exalted. For him how can I hand you over Israel how can I make you like Ogma How can I said you like as ever we do you know what the cities are. Yes so he doesn't want to destroy them he's like please. Anything but that my heart charms within me my sympathy is stirred I will not execute the fierceness of my anger I will not a going to story for him for I am GOD and not man the holy one in your midst and will not come with terror. You deserve death you will long deserved death but I want so long for you. And I believe there's a reason more than just that that this passage is quoted in applied to Jesus so if you turn to Matthew two. Or just listen as I read it if you want to turn there you can but Matthew quotes this passage actually to refer to Jesus. And it's when Jesus is coming out of Egypt So Matthew two fourteen and fifteen when he arose he took the young child in his mother by night and departed for Egypt and was there until the death of Herod that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying out of Egypt I called my son so he's quoting directly here from Jose eleven and actually and I'll try to do this a little bit where I can wish we had more time but. This passage has been long used by scholars today to say that Matthew was misquoting and didn't understand the Old Testament and was not getting it because I mean we just read it was a eleven is that talking about Jesus. Tells of a good a little bit but I mean who's talking about is a real right I mean a god married to them and they've left him and he's bring them back to me how in the world is a circle because Jesus Well I believe that it is it's because Matthew is actually doing bigger broader more comprehensive XA Jesus than most people are doing when they're looking at that they're just looking at Hosea eleven one and they're saying this is not talking about Jesus at all it's talking about Israel but if you think about just a couple of things before we go back to numbers because I think there's there's clues in Hosea that this is going beyond as well as talking about Israel yes but remember back at the beginning we talked about how Israel it's also the same prophecies are pointing to the Messiah and then they're pointing to the end of time to write so this is one of them it is talking. It is real but it's also going beyond Why well think about the metaphor what is the imagery we've had so far and was there between God and His people. His bride his spouse is this talking about a spouse year. Eleven one US son out of nowhere you have a son what is this doing here this is the first time it's here everywhere else in the book it's husband wife imagery here in this one spot you have father son what's going on that should make us think something else is going on here. There's actually clues before this as well and was there one you can look it up later was there one eleven three five and then eleven five and eleven Egypt is mentioned several times is not necessarily bad but is this kind of refuge which people go to and actually in the beginning it was their God says I want to bring my people out with this divide it came well David was long gone so who is that devoted King Messiah it's pointing toward to the Messiah to come as you are to have this sense of pointing forward there's going to be someone to come who's going to fulfill these That's going beyond Israel but I think. Matthew is also going back to numbers have two minutes number seventy three and twenty four. This is bail I'm Balan's oracles so bail I'm supposed to curses roll right and bail is paying him to curse Israel and he's like I have to speak with God wants me to speak because I screwed up and I messed up anyway but he gives these amazing Morkel So he gives four oracles or prophecies the first two are about Israel was things right everything about that that is real and you can read them through and it says you know look at for instance twenty three twenty one and twenty two he's talking Texas or clearly says about Israel like Israel is amazing look at them they're all awesome in twenty one years not observed iniquity Jacob nor the seen wickedness in Israel the Lord is God is with them. Shot of the king is among them God brings them out of Egypt his strength like a wild dogs are we talking about what God's done for Israel and what God will do for Israel but then in chapter twenty four Things change and Bale in his bail is really angry at him and he says All right so Belem raised his eyes who talks completely just changes how he does this twenty four two and he saw Israel and the Spirit of God came upon him he took up his oracle and said And look what he starts with the utterance of Belem the son of the or the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened the utterance of him who hears the words of God who sees the vision of the Almighty who fall down with eyes wide open so he's describing something else that you see in chapter twenty three you just saw Israel now he's seeing something more and he says How lovely lovely are you tensor Jacob etc and then in verse eight God brings who out of Egypt. Him and that is in the Hebrew and a lot of translations have changed it to them because they're like why would it be him but it seemed you were there so he's noting that this this messianic figure who is to come he doesn't give you clues right there who it is that he gives you clue in his last Oracle is a hint he's going to he's going to live out in his life the life of Israel. So this actually forms the foundation for a lot of what the prophets do and comparing the Messiah and his life to that of Israel so look at then Balan's last Oracle it's introduced the same way the utterance of him this is verse sixteen now Chapter twenty four who hears the words of God who has the knowledge of the most high who sees the vision of the Almighty who fall down with eyes wide open I see him but not now. I behold him but not near I store still come out of Jacob a scepter Sharada rise out of Israel and batter the brow of more of the destroyer of the sons of tumult and he goes on and on and uses the same language actually that's used in Genesis forty nine for just for the first description of who this messiah is going to be so it's this person to come and there's a myth very many people think that probably the wise men of the east because Beilin was a. In the east they heard this prophecy and they knew that Jesus was coming because of the star they read this book the star so there's a lot of connections and I really believe that that Matthew was doing a whole comprehensive XA Jesus of the whole Bible in connecting the Messiah with Israel in the Exodus so he's recognizing that that just like God brought Israel out of Egypt God is also going to bring the messiah out of Egypt and that Hosea is getting a piece of that is kind of a segue into what's going to happen with with the Messiah there's a lot more connections in who's They had to give that indication in fact even in chapter ten right before hand you have the mothers weeping for their children and you have the king of Israel dying. And that's paralleled in Matthew two with Herod dying and the mothers weeping for their children so there's just a lot of interconnections between Matthew two and Jose eleven that I think indicate not just that Jose is that Matthew's taking he's out of context but actually he's getting a better context than what we usually too were reading it so. We have to stop one question yes. I'm. Not. That. Correct I'm wondering. I mean he has. I believe so yes but I don't think. You know that. In sixteen it is it is this gets into translations right so people doing translations are doing translations as best as they can but they don't see everything. Don't think so no and remember the Hebrew has no capitalization. So you know they can't look at the that language to the other language to decide are we going to capitalize it or not so they have to go upon interpretation and I think they have an easier time seeing the the last Oracle available as referring to to the Messiah than they do the third one because. Because I think they missed that connection with Chapter twenty three. And many translations now some of the newer ones will change it to them I mean I don't know if any of you have that but they actually change that phrase mean that they do this often I hate to tell you this but it unfortunately happens because they think. It can be this is why I have my students who don't know them read like five versions because then you get a sense for like where are their differences and where do I need to be a work is most of the time you don't have that issue but. If you do that you can you can do a pretty good job of figuring out where the issues are are welcome let's close with prayer Lord I thank you so much for your grace your mercy for your love your compassion with us for working with us imperfect crazy people and sharing your message with this world board help us to be inspired in our own lives by the prophets to better reflect you to serve you to follow you to preach your message of restoration and warning to this thank you so much. This media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about you first if you would like to listen to more sermons leaves Visit W W W. Dot org.


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