Who are the Hebrew prophets, and why are they so intense? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 17.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast, take the time to reflect on these questions:
Consider God’s character of justice, mercy, and love. How does he want to comfort and restore your community?
What is one way your community is suffering now?
What is one step you can take this week to join God’s plan of restoration?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
Prophets are God’s messengers, called to speak to people on his behalf. Their messages demonstrate just how much God desires to be close to his people. God wants his people to flourish, to experience peace and joy, but sin gets in the way. So God sends prophets to warn his people and urge them to turn from sin and its destruction. When Israel doesn’t listen, they experience the consequences of their own ways, just like the prophets warned. But when Israel listens, they receive God’s promised mercy. And we can too. If we are honest about our sins and want to leave them behind, God will forgive us––completely. That’s how God wants to show his faithfulness and justice to people. He forgives everyone who humbly comes to him.
Feel free to focus on just a few reflections right now or meditate all throughout the week by focusing on one reflection per day.
Compare Isaiah 1:10-20 with Psalm 51:7-17. What similarities do you notice? What does God want more than rituals of worship (see Psalm 51:16-17)?
Review Isaiah 1:18 in light of verse 15. Why is their sin pictured as being “red”? Now read Revelation 7:14 and Ephesians 1:6-7. What is unique about the blood of Jesus?
The phrase “white as snow” is used to describe Jesus’ own appearance (Daniel 7:9, Matthew 28:3). What comes to mind when you consider how God made a way for you to appear as pure as Jesus?
God is faithful and just to forgive sin that’s yielded to him. How do you understand the concept of justice? How do you think Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross helps us understand how justice and forgiveness can work together?
God wants his people to thrive in a relationship with him and with one another. So he sends his prophets to protect the relationship from the destructive consequences of sin. What does this reveal about God’s character?
What is one example of how sin has hindered your relationship with God and others in the past?
Are there any sins that are hindering your relationships now? Do you need to change course or apologize to someone today? Take some time to be real with God about that in prayer. Receive the peace of his forgiveness and start new today.