On the Plains of Moab Blog
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March 30, 2012, 3:23 PM

A Post-Script from the Prophets

We are finished with the major prophets for a while.  Last summer, we took a tour through Ezekiel.  And for the last ten weeks, the pulpit has been consumed with the last half of the book of Isaiah.  If I were to throw in the other major prophet Jeremiah and ask what all three prophets have in common, what would you say?

Well, the short answer is that they all have a fairly common vision for the future expressed a little differently.  The short and sweet, down and dirty is that they all proclaim a time when God will complete his kingdom plans.  They all three have a vision of what it will be like when God is all in all.

As we saw in Isaiah, there is a slow burn right up to the new heavens and new earth.  Starts with the humble servant and ends with the glorious vision of the result of his work.  There is no doubt that we end on the note of heaven in Isaiah.  It is a grand plan.  It is full of hope in a not too certain world.

Going to Ezekiel, you begin with the sad story of exile for God's people.  The glory of God departing the temple in Jerusalem.  Ichabod!  The visions of the desecrations left in his place.  But God has left the building, along with Elvis.  But, as you draw to the close of Ezekiel, you are a witness to the rebuilding of the temple, only on a much grander scale.  It becomes clear in hindsight that this temple is not meant o be taken as a literal brick and mortar fulfillment, but speaks of the time when God will once again be present among his people.  Right there in their midst.  You get this as you look to the book of Revelation and realize that the imagery there in Ezekeil is carried over in style in the last book of the Bible.

The prophet Jeremiah goes a different route.  Jeremiah makes much of the new covenant in which God will write the law on the hearts of his people.  The book ends with the release of King Jehoichin, meaning that the hope of the Davidic king and the Davidic covenant being fulfilled yet.  God's not done yet.  He will bring about his kingdom just the way he has advertised from the beginning.

As we move on in our pulpit studies, please do keep in mind that the prophetic books in the Old Testament are not hopelessly beyond your reach.  Please remember to grasp the basic story of God's promises and his fulfilling of those promises in Jesus Christ and you will be half-way there already!

Looking forward, we come to Palm Sunday with a message from Mark 8:22-33.  Two pericopes here back to back that fit purposely together.  The blind man at Bethsaida and Peter's confession and screw-up.  In thinking of Peter's mess ups and in honor of the fact that Sunday will be April Fool's Day, I am calling the sermon "D'oh!"  Simpson's fans will have no problem understanding the title.

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