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       Week 30

Mon  Ezek. 15-19

Tue  Ezek. 20-22

Wed  Ezek. 23; Jer. 48-49

Thu  Jer. 24, 27-29, 21

Fri  2 Kings 25:1-21; 2 Chron. 36:17-21; Jer. 39:1-18; 52:1-30; Ezek. 24-25

 

 

Look for:

·   The soul that sins shall die

·   I looked for a man…to stand in the gap…but found none

·   A letter to exiles

·   Jerusalem besieged

·   Burned the house of the Lord

 

Short Readings:

Ezek. 18

Ezek. 22

Jer. 29

2 Kings 25:1-21

Jer. 52:1-30

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 26

Mt. 27

Mt. 28

Lk. 1

Lk. 2

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Ezekiel – A Reader’s Guide

Ezekiel is 20 years younger than Jeremiah and is among those taken captive in 598 B.C.  Like Daniel he preaches to the exiles and emphasizes that God is the Lord, and will bring judgment on sin, then restore his people.  Like Jeremiah, Ezekiel lives through the fall of Jerusalem, but he is in Babylon.  Ezekiel is a priest noted for his unusual personality and activity.  Many times he acts out his message or lives through personal experiences that tie in with the national trauma.  He is also noted for his emphasis on the Spirit.  No other prophet claims to be empowered by the Spirit as much as Ezekiel.  In fact, most other prophets never mention the Spirit at all.

Organization

The book of Ezekiel has a straightforward style with most sections carefully dated.  The sermons are mostly long prose sections, and the structure is relatively simple.  Ezekiel may be organized as follows:

  1. Prophecies of doom on Judah and Jerusalem (Ezek. 1-24)
  • Vision of the Glory of the Lord, and call to be the watchman to the house of Israel (1-3)
  • Prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem (4-12)
  • Reasons for Jerusalem’s destruction
    •  Unbelief (12)
    •  Following false prophets (13)
    •  Idolatry (14)
  • Punishment is necessary, yet God still loves his people (15-18)
  • Lament over the princes of Israel (19)
  • Final warnings of God’s wrath (20-24)
  • Prophecies against the nations (25-32)

2.  Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia (25)

  • Tyre and Sidon (26-28)
  • Egypt (29-32)
  • Prophecies of a glorious future (33-48)

3.  A series of prophecies related to Jerusalem (33-37)

  • The future age of the Messiah and the church (38-39)
  • Splendor and divine protection of the new Israel (40-48)

Reading Ezekiel, you may wonder is the prophet eccentric or maybe he’s crazy?  His behavior at times is bizarre.  His dramatizations, add power to his message.  You may forget his words, but you are not likely to forget his action lessons.  The book is a gallery of word pictures interspersed with mini-stages upon which the prophet performs divinely inspired dramas.  Ezekiel’s delightful antics draw students to his prophecy in these days as they attracted believers to his door in Ezekiel’s day (James E. Smith, Old Testament Books Made Simple).

Key Passage

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek. 18:20)

The phrase “son of man” is found 93 times and refers to Ezekiel as mortal man.  The name Ezekiel only appears twice in the book (Ezek. 1:3, 24:24), and appears nowhere else in the Bible.

 

       Week 29

Mon  Jer. 45-47, 35-36

Tue  Jer. 13-17

Wed  Dan. 2; Jer. 22-23

Thu  Ezek. 1-7

Fri  Ezek. 8-14

 

 

Look for:

·   Burning a scroll

·   A huge image

·   A kingdom which will never be destroyed

·   Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel

·   God’s glory leaves the temple

 

 

Short Readings:

Jer. 36

Jer. 13:1-14

Dan. 2

Ezek. 1-2

Ezek. 10

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 21

Mt. 22

Mt. 23

Mt. 24

Mt. 25

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Daniel – A Reader’s Guide

Born to a noble family, Daniel is one of the thousands taken captive to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 606 B.C.  In Babylon, Daniel is trained for special service to the king and given the name Belteshazzar.  Daniel remains deeply loyal to God in spite of trying circumstances:  He refuses to eat the king’s food which is either unclean or has been dedicated to an idol (Dan. 1:8-16); He speaks God’s message faithfully (5:24-28); He prays to God in spite of a decree prohibiting such prayers (Dan. 6).  God gives Daniel special gifts of interpreting dreams and visions.  Daniel serves in high government positions for 70 years under three kings in two different empires:  Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar (Babylonian empire), Darius (Medo-Persian empire).

Organization

The main emphasis of the book of Daniel is God’s sovereignty over the entire world.  Daniel’s purpose is to tell the captives that although they may still be in captivity, their God remains in charge of the nations and is working out his will.

  1. The book may be organized as follows: Narratives of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 1-6)
  • Training for service in the king’s court (1)
  • Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (2)
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are cast into the fiery furnace (3)
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and punishment for pride (4)
  • The handwriting on the wall (5)
  • Cast into the lion’s den (6)
  • Daniel’s prophetic visions (Dan. 7-12)

2. Vision of four great beasts (7)

  • Vision of the ram and the he-goat (8)
  • Vision of 70 weeks (9)
  • Other visions (10-12:3)
  • Daniel’s prophecy is sealed and concluded (12:4-13)

Author and Date

The book of Daniel covers 70 years, from 606 B.C. (Dan. 1:1) to around 536 B.C. (Dan. 10:1).  Daniel writes the historical narratives in the first seven chapters in the third person; and writes the visions and prophecies in the last six chapters in the first person.

Key Passage

“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).

Pointing To Christ

Many prophecies in Daniel point to Christ.  Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Dan. 2 points to the establishment of Christ’s kingdom in the later days.  This prophecy is fulfilled when the church is established in Acts 2.  Prophecy of Christ coming to the Ancient of Days (God) and being given a kingdom (Dan. 7:14).  The 70 weeks prophecy points to the ministry and death of Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem (Dan. 9).

 

       Week 28

Mon  Hab. 1-3; Jer. 1, 11-12

Tue  Jer. 2-5

Wed  2 Kings 23:31-24:20; 2 Chron. 36:1-16; Daniel 1; Jer. 6

Thu  Jer. 7-10

Fri  Jer. 18-20, 25-26

 

 

Look for:

·   I will work a work that you will not believe

·   The just shall live by faith

·   The Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth

·   The wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy

·   He would not defile himself

 

 

Short Readings:

Hab. 2

Jer. 1

2 Chron. 36:1-16

Daniel 1

Jer. 19:1-20:6

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 16

Mt. 17

Mt. 18

Mt. 19

Mt. 20

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Habakkuk – A Reader’s Guide

Nothing is known about the life of Habakkuk or his background, other than what is found in his prophecy.  The date of the book is not certain, but he probably prophesies between 612 and 605 B.C. just before the showdown between Egypt and Babylon.  The book is not a text of sermons to men, but a dialogue between the prophet and God.  His questions are modern ones:  “Why?  Why don’t you do something, God?”  Then when God does, “Why did you do it that way?”  God’s answer is not so much to the question but to Habakkuk – the righteous will live by faith (Hab. 2:4).

The book may be organized as follows:  Habakkuk asks why God tolerates sin in Judah (1:1-4); God replies that he is raising up Babylon to punish Judah (1:5-11).  Habakkuk asks how God can use such ungodly people to punish Judah (1:12-2:1); God replies that Babylon will be punished (2:2-20).  Prayer of confident faith in God (3:1-19).  A key verse is:  “but the just shall live by his faith” (2:4; quoted in the New Testament, Rom. 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb. 10:38).

Jeremiah – A Reader’s Guide

Jeremiah is one of the best known of the prophets.  He begins preaching during the reign of Josiah and continues on through the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.  Much is known about Jeremiah because the book contains several biographical chapters, probably written by Baruch his scribe.  Jeremiah’s life is marked by his close encounters with death and his complaints against God.  He is also one of the few prophets to predict the fall of Jerusalem and live to see it.  In Babylon Daniel studies the Book of Jeremiah (Dan. 9:2) where he learns that Babylon’s dominance will last 70 years (Jer. 25:11-14; 29:10).

The chronology of Jeremiah’s book is not straightforward; it is likely that the first 25 chapters are from Jeremiah’s early preaching, up to 597 B.C.  Jeremiah 36 tells how at least part of the book was written – Jeremiah dictates to Baruch from memory his sermons of the prior 20 years.  Jeremiah contains many prose sermons scattered throughout the book.  However most appear in chapters 1-25, with a few in 26-33.  The book may be organized as follows:

  • Chapters 1:1-25:14 are prophecies of judgment from the time of Josiah (2-6) and Jehoiakim (7-20), and prophecies against kings and other prophets (21-25:14);
  • Chapters 26-33 are prophecies of destruction (26-29) and future restoration (30-33);
  • Chapters 34-45 are biographical, detailing Jeremiah’s experiences during the last days of Jerusalem.
  • Chapter 25:15-38 goes with chapters 46-51 and the prophecies against the foreign nations;
  • Chapter 52 is an historical appendix taken from 2 Kings.

A key verse is:  “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31; see Heb. 8:8-13).

The Last Years of Judah

When Josiah is killed in battle at Megiddo in 609, Jehoahaz becomes king of Judah.  Three months later, the Egyptians imprison Jehoahaz and replace him with Jehoiakim his brother.  Babylon becomes the dominant power and in 598 B.C., Babylon marches against Jerusalem.  Jehoiakim dies during the siege and Jehoiachin his son succeeds him.  However, Jehoiachin is taken captive to Babylon along with thousands of other Judeans.

 

       Week 27

Mon  Is. 55-60

Tue  Is. 61-66

Wed  2 Kings 21; 2 Chron. 33; Obadiah

Thu  2 Kings 22-23; Zeph. 1-3

Fri  2 Chron. 34-35; Nahum 1-3

 

 

Look for:

·   The Lord’s hand is not shortened

·   A new heavens and new earth

·   He did evil in the eyes of the Lord

·   Innocent blood

·   Finding the Book of the Law of the Lord

 

 

Short Readings:

Is. 58-59

Is. 65:17-25

2 Kings 21

2 Kings 22:1-23:30

2 Chron. 34

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 11

Mt. 12

Mt. 13

Mt. 14

Mt. 15

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Looking Into the Future

Isaiah’s final chapters are loosely structured and are difficult to read with understanding.  These chapters may be organized as follows:  Condemnation of empty religion (58-59); A vision of Zion’s glorious future (60-62); God’s vengeance on the nations (63:1-7); A new heaven and earth (65:17-25).  Isaiah ends on a vividly poetic note (66:22-24) demonstrating that man’s continuous rebellion makes it necessary for the ministry of God’s suffering servant – the Messiah.

Judah’s Best of Kings & Worst of Kings

Hezekiah, a good king is followed by his wicked son, Manasseh.  Manasseh’s reign is distinguished by full-scale reversal of all of his father’s reforms and the introduction of several pagan religions.  It is further marked by severe persecution of those faithful to the Lord.  The “innocent blood” of 2 Kings 21:16 probably refers to those of Judah who remain loyal to God after Manasseh’s long reign (55 years).  Amazingly, Josiah, one of the best of the Kings of Judah, follows Manasseh (after Amon’s brief reign).  His religious reform exceeds even Hezekiah’s reforms.  Josiah is king when Assyria is crumbling and Babylon has not yet reached dominating power.  This power vacuum among nations allows Josiah to lead independence, expansion, and prosperity in Judah.  It has the feel of a new and glorious era to the faithful who survived Manasseh, and Judah has high hopes for the future.  No doubt Josiah’s tragic death in battle shatters many dreams.  Judah falls to Babylon within 22 years of Josiah’s death; testifying to Judah’s continued hard-headed rebellion against God.

Obadiah – A Reader’s Guide

The shortest book of the Old Testament, Obadiah’s prophecy against Edom carries one of the strongest messages of judgment.  Obadiah prophesies in response to Edom plundering Jerusalem; which occurs several times, making it difficult to date the book.  The book may be organized as follows:  Terrible sin of Edom (1-14); Judgment against Edom (15-16); Deliverance in Mount Zion (17-21).  The deliverance in Zion (v. 17) is prophetic of those in the church (Heb. 12:22).  A key verse is “But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance” (v. 17).

Zephaniah – A Reader’s Guide

It is likely that Zephaniah is the first to break the long prophetic silence after Manasseh’s reign.  The book may be organized as follows:  Sins of Judah (1:1-2:3); Sentence against the nations (2:4-3:8); Salvation of the remnant (3:9-20).  Zephaniah is the only prophet of royal descent.  Zeph. 1:1 traces his genealogy four generations to Hezekiah the king of Judah.  A key verse is “Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near” (1:7).

Nahum – A Reader’s Guide

Some 150 years after Jonah brought about Nineveh’s repentance, the prophet Nahum sees the coming fall of wicked and arrogant Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.  The book may be organized as follows:  Verdict against Nineveh (Ch. 1); Vision of Nineveh’s fall (Ch. 2); Vindication of Nineveh’s fall (Ch. 3).  This, of course, signals the collapse of Assyria, that evil nation to which Judah has been in bondage for so long.  Nineveh falls in 612 B.C.  Years earlier, Isaiah sees this as judgment on its arrogance (Is. 10).  A key verse is “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.  The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies” (1:2).

 

       Week 26

Mon  2 Kings 18-20; Ps. 46-48

Tue  2 Chron. 29-32

Wed  Is. 40-43

Thu  Is. 44-48

Fri  Is. 49-54

 

 

Look for:

·   There was no one like him

·   On what are you basing your confidence?

·   They will walk and not be faint

·   I will raise up Cyrus

·   He was wounded for our transgressions

 

 

Short Readings:

2 Kings 18-19

2 Chron. 32

Is. 40:12-31

Is. 45

Is. 53

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 6

Mt. 7

Mt. 8

Mt. 9

Mt. 10

 

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Hezekiah

The later years of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry take place during the reign of Hezekiah.  This is an especially threatening time, as Is. 36-39 makes clear (2 Kings 18-20 and 2 Chron. 29-32 give parallel accounts of the same events).  Both Kings and Chronicles portray Hezekiah as a godly king, but Kings focuses on how his faithfulness saves Jerusalem and Chronicles focuses on the details of his religious reform.  Psalms 46-48 celebrate the reign and rule of God, the true, great king.  What glorious joy that the king reigning over Judah is a faithful servant of God!

Hezekiah is a good king – the best of the Kings of Judah (2 Kings 18:5).  His trust in God in the face of overwhelming odds brings deliverance to Jerusalem and Judah.  This victory of faith is long remembered in Judah, though the fact that the victory is based upon faith is soon forgotten.  God’s promises for the safety and security of Jerusalem are soon taken as unconditional promises by God, and it is forgotten that Hezekiah had first repented of sin.  Jeremiah’s later struggle with this entrenched, dogmatic belief of God’s people nearly costs him his life (Jeremiah 7 and 26).

Judgment & Captivity, Hope & Comfort

A significant break in style and subject matter occurs between Isaiah 39 and 40.  Chapters 1-39 generally picture the coming judgment on Judah.  In chapter 40 the emphasis turns to the deliverance from captivity in Babylon.  In fact, chapters 38-39 prepare for the later chapters by looking ahead to the coming power of Babylon.  Chapter 40 is a new beginning, emphasizing the good news to be preached.  The following chapters describing God bringing his people back to the land are some of the most beautiful passages in the Old Testament.

Now the task of the prophet is to proclaim hope to the captives and the glorious message of return.  Since the prophecies concern a return from captivity, skeptics have denied that Isaiah could have written these chapters, for the captivity occurred over a century after Isaiah’s time.  However, this position is simply a denial of God’s ability to inspire Isaiah to look into the future.

These chapters are also a message of great comfort to the faithful during the dark days of King Manasseh which follow Hezekiah’s reign.  The important theme that God is “the Holy One of Israel” continues through these chapters.

God versus the gods

In those days, the nations commonly believe that a god and the fortunes of his people are inseparably bound together.  When a nation suffers defeat, the obvious conclusion is that their god is weak, and will fade away.  It is likely that most in Judah at that time share this view, and the idea of Judah’s captivity comes as a great shock.  That is why these chapters emphasize God’s sovereign power (40:12-31).

The Servant of the Lord

Four passages in Isaiah clearly bear a common theme – God will raise up a “servant” to fulfill His work (42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12).  This servant is empowered with the spirit of God, yet goes about his work quietly in the face of great opposition.  Clearly, the servant is the Messiah.  The last passage contains the most detailed picture in Scripture of the Messiah’s atoning work (52:13-53:12).  The New Testament applies the servant passages to the atoning work of Jesus (Acts 8:32-35; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:22-25).

 

       Week 25

Mon  Is. 7-13

Tue  Is. 14-22

Wed  Is. 23-28

Thu  Is. 29-35

Fri  Is. 36-39

 

 

Look for:

·   Here am I, send me

·   Call him Immanuel

·   I lay a stone in Zion

·   The Holy One of Israel

·   What have they seen in your house?

 

 

Short Readings:

Is. 6

Is. 7

Is. 11

Is. 36-37

Is. 38-39

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 1

Mt. 2

Mt. 3

Mt. 4

Mt. 5

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Isaiah – A Reader’s Guide

The ministry of the prophet Isaiah extends for half a century through the reign of four kings of Judah:  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  This is a critical time in the nation’s history.  Isaiah witnesses the fall of Israel (721 B.C.) and warns Judah that the same fate could befall her.  He challenges Judah’s sin, and looks past this troubled time to the coming, suffering and reign of the Messiah.

Organization

In a long book like Isaiah, it is important to note the structure for help in putting the material together as it is read.  Isaiah may be organized as follows:

  • Chapters 1-6 serve as an introduction and background and probably come from Isaiah’s earliest time (the first years after 740 B.C.).
  • Chapters 7-12 take place during the reign of Ahaz and offer hope under Assyrian oppression through a connected series of promises centering on sons to be born.
  • Chapters 13-23 are pronouncements against other nations:  Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Cush (Egypt), Edom, Arabia, Tyre.
  • Chapters 24-27 speak of judgment of the world and last things.
  • Chapters 28-39 come from the time of King Hezekiah and offer words of hope and judgment in prophesying the deportation to Babylon.
  • Chapters 40-66 look to the future deliverance from Babylon, and the ultimate deliverance of Israel and the nations by the Messiah.

Author and Date

Isaiah is called to the prophetic ministry the year that King Uzziah dies, 740 B.C.  The latest historical event Isaiah writes about is the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 B.C., however it is unknown when Isaiah wrote his prophecies.  Jewish tradition holds that Isaiah was sawn asunder by wicked King Manasseh around 685 B.C.  Isaiah foretells the Babylonian captivity even before Babylon rises to dominance.  Even more remarkable, Isaiah calls Cyrus, the Persian king who later releases the Jews from captivity, by name at least 150 years before Cyrus issues the decree (44:28; 45:1).  Some claim these passages were written later by a different author, however the New Testament attributes the entire book to the pen of Isaiah (Mt. 3:3; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14; 15:7; Lk. 4:17; Jn. 12:38-41).

Key Passage

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be dismayed” (Is. 28:16).

Pointing To Christ

Isaiah’s picture of the coming Messiah is the clearest of all the prophets.  Isaiah prophesies the full range of the Messiah’s life, work and kingdom.

His birth (7:14; 9:6)

His family, anointing and character (11:1-4)

His gentleness (42:1-2)

His preaching (61:1-11)

His suffering and death (53)

His resurrection (53:10; 25:8)

His glorious kingdom (2:1-4; 65:17-28)

 

       Week 24

Mon  Jonah 1-4; Hosea 1-4

Tue  Hosea 5-14

Wed  Amos 1-9

Thu  Micah 1-7

Fri  Is. 6, 1-5

 

 

Look for:

·   Yet forty days

·   Reap the whirlwind

·   A plumb line among my people

·   You will have compassion on us

·   In the last days

 

 

Short Readings:

Jonah 1-4

Hosea 1-3

Amos 3

Micah 6-7

Is. 1-2

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Philemon 1

Phil. 1

Phil. 2

Phil. 3

Phil. 4

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Joel – A Reader’s Guide

It is difficult to tie Joel’s prophecy to any specific historical period, but the prophecy is usually given an early date.  It is likely that Joel prophesies during the early years of King Josiah.

Organization

The book of Joel is considered to be a masterpiece of prophetic literature.  The purpose of Joel’s prophecy is to explain a recent locust plague as a divine judgment upon Judah.  A deeper purpose is to proclaim the ultimate blessings upon God’s people, and the ultimate disasters upon God’s enemies.  Joel may be organized as follows:

1.  God’s judgment (1:1-2:17)

·       Devastation of the locust plague upon Judah (1:1-20)

·       God’s judgment upon the nation (2:1-11)

·       Plea for repentance (2:12-17)

2.  God’s salvation (2:18-3:21)

·       God’s restoration of blessings (2:18-27)

·       Outpouring of the Spirit (2:28-32)

·       Prophetic description of the resulting blessings (3:1-21)

Author and Date

Little is known about the prophet Joel.  He is apparently from Judah and prophesies to his own countrymen (3:1, 2:15, 23, 32).  Some scholars place Joel’s prophecies early in the reign of King Josiah around 830 B.C.

Key Passage

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)

Pointing To Christ

Joel anticipates the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (2:28) and Peter declares the prophecy’s fulfillment (Acts 2:16).  He speaks of a glorious new Jerusalem where God will dwell with his people forever (3:18-21).

Jonah – A Reader’s Guide

Jonah prophesies in Israel the Northern Kingdom in the days of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23-29).  His optimistic prophecy foretells Jeroboam’s military success in recovering lost Israelite territory.  However, in the book of Jonah, he is sent to prophesy destruction to the city of Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian Empire.  It is Assyria which eventually destroys Israel in 721 B.C.  Jonah rebels against his mission from God; repents and completes his mission; and eventually shows himself to be quite intolerant of God’s mercy to others.

Pointing To Christ

There are no direct prophecies of the Christ in Jonah.  However, Christ refers three times to his own death and burial as “the sign of Jonah,” (Mt. 12:39; 16:4; Lk. 11:29) saying that this is the only sign to the wicked generation that seeks a miracle to prove that Jesus is from God (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32).