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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Nov. 10, 2008

  • 2008 Nov 10

Christ in the Major Prophets



The Scriptures are all about God revealing Himself to His creatures. The ultimate expression of God's nature and character is Christ. Note the words of Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (KJV). Since the Word of God reveals God, and Jesus is the image of the Invisible God, then we can find and worship our Lord Jesus Christ in every part of the Bible!


1.    In the Books of History we see God's servants Following the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the Creator in the Garden, the Rock in the Wilderness, the Angel of the Lord and so on!

2.    In the Books of Poetry we see God's servants Worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Suffering One, the Good Shepherd, the Redeemer and so on!

3.    In the Books of Prophecy we see God's servants:

        Seeing Christ (Major prophets) as Ruler, Prince of Peace and so on.

        Trusting Christ (Pre-exilic prophets) as the Judge, One from Everlasting and so on.

        Hoping in Christ (Post-exilic prophets) as the Sun of Righteousness, the Coming King and the Lord of All.


ISAIAH “Worshiping our God of Salvation” (960828)


From the revolt of Satan to the rule of the Savior-all is told by Scripture's most eloquent prophet Isaiah He was the Shakespeare of the prophets and the Paul of the Old Testament. Isaiah has more to say about the greatness of God (40,43), the horrors of the Tribulation (24), the wonders of the Millennium (35), and the ministry of Christ (53) than any other book in the Bible. Isaiah 53 is probably the most important and far-reaching chapter in the Old Testament, as it is quoted from or alluded to 85 times in the New Testament. Jesus said that Isaiah saw His glory and spoke of Him (John 12:41). This book is an extended commentary on Jonah 2:9, when that prophet exclaimed from the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord" The word salvation appears 33 times in the writing of the prophets, and of these, 26 instances occur in Isaiah.


I.                  JUDGMENT BY THE LORD 1:1 - 39:8 [with 39 chapters, this first section of Isaiah is like the O.T. declaring the holiness, righteousness and justice of God]

II.              COMFORT IN REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION 40:1 - 66:24 [with 27 chapters this concluding section of Isaiah is like the like N.T. declaring the grace, compassion and glory of God]


The Book of Isaiah has three major themes. These may be summarized as:

1.    CONVICTION: The overwhelming sense of sin and the wrath of God against sin. This is clearest in the 21x Isaiah uses the word “woe”. In God’s sight our good deeds are “filthy rags” [64:6-7];

2.    CONFESSION: The all pervading awareness of the Power, Majesty and Holiness of God. And 23x he uses the Divine Name of “THE HOLY ONE OF GOD”, a name nearly unique to Isaiah except for 5 other passages.

3.    CONFIDENCE: The crystal clear sight of the Salvation and Coming Victory of Christ.


Jeremiah “Worshiping our God of repentance” (960904)


Jeremiah must have had an incredible childhood. The Scriptures tell us God had chosen him before his birth to be a prophet. His family was notable in their service for the LORD. Life was exciting for the son of a high priest. Jeremiah 1:1. Jeremiah’s woes were unimaginable to our relatively peaceful lives. He lived through the death throes of the nation of Judah. In his lifetime he saw the decay of God’s chosen people, the horrible destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the nation to Babylon. He preached for 40 years and saw no visible result among those he served. Instead those countrymen he warned for God sought to kill him if he wouldn’t stop preaching doom (Jer. 11:19-23); his own family and friends were involved in plots against him(12:60) God never allowed him to marry, and thus he suffered incredibly agonizing loneliness (16:20) there were plots to kill him in secret so no one would find him (18:20-23); he was beaten severely and then bound in wooden stocks (20:1-2); his friends spied on him deceitfully and for revenge (20:10); he was consumed with sorrow and shame and even cursed the day he was born (20:14-18); finally, falsely accused of being a traitor to his own country (37:13-14), Jeremiah was arrested, beaten, thrown into a dungeon, and starved many days (37:15-21). If an Ethiopian Gentile had not interceded on his behalf he would have died there. In the end, tradition tells us he was exiled to Egypt, where he was stoned to death by his own people. He had virtually no converts to show for a lifetime of ministry.


Perhaps the most striking feature of this book is the fact that despite the terrible woes of the life Jeremiah was called to (1:5), he saw that it was all at the Master Potter’s Hand (18:1-6). At the point of near despair over his failed ministry, God asked Jeremiah to go to the Potter’s house and there he would get a message from the Lord (18:2). Although Israel had failed so grievously, the heavenly Potter was able to bless them again if they would but repent and yield to his Perfect Touch.


Lamentations “Worshiping our God of hope” (960911)


Jeremiah sits down and looks over the smoldering ruins of his beloved Jerusalem. His voice rises into the wail of sorrow - a lament. His funeral dirge over the city of God, inspired by the Spirit of God is a message for all the people of God. This book is a master crafted poem with five stanzas. Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 each start with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, 22 in all. This form of poetry called an acrostic is beautiful in form and powerful in communication. Chapter 3 is the centerpiece of this poem, with three 22 verse acrostics making it 66 verses long. The theme of the book and this middle chapter agree, as Jeremiah discovers - GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS our Great Lord!


I.                  The Outline:

A.                First Dirge: Jerusalem’s Desolation because of Her Sin (chap. 1)

B.                Second Dirge: God’s Punishment of Jerusalem’s Sin (chap. 2)

C.                Third Dirge: Jeremiah’s Response (chap. 3)

D.               Fourth Dirge: The Lord’s Anger (chap. 4)

E.                Fifth Dirge: The Remnant’s Response (chap. 5)

II.              The Message: Chapter one contains an astounding commentary on Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” There is no SECURITY apart from the LORD. Jerusalem the city portrays the state of Jerusalem the people chosen by God. Note these grim reminders:

A.                NO COMFORT In v.2 “none to comfort” yet the Lord offered comfort continually to His people.

1.                Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (KJV) This is the very same word as Lam. 1:2. Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (KJV)

2.                Jesus always has offered enduring comfort. John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (KJV)

B.                NO REST In v. 3 “no rest” was found by Jerusalem, yet the Lord offered and promised His rest:

1.                Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (KJV)

2.                Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (KJV)

C.                NO REFRESHMENT In v. 6 “no pasture” yet the Lord promises to feed His people:

1.                Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (KJV)

2.                Psalm 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee. (KJV)



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