Why is there so much anger and violence in the Old Testament prophets? 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 26.
Once you've listened to the short podcast, take time to reflect on these questions.
Imagine the power of the moment when God spoke, “Let there be light” and said it was good. What is one way you’ve experienced God’s goodness as you’ve followed his life-giving words?
When we reject God’s life-giving words, sooner or later we are left with darkness, chaos, and void. This causes deep anguish. What is one way you have experienced anguish when you or others have rejected God’s words?
Take a moment to reflect in prayer. Ask God for one specific way you can respond to his words today. Listen for what he brings to mind.
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?
The prophetic books are intense, so it’s easy to skip ahead to more comfortable portions of the Bible. But Jesus often used the prophets’ words to describe what he was all about. So if we want to know Jesus, we need to read the prophets. And as we do, we can learn that when God’s people reject him, they are rejecting life itself. The disorder, chaos, and suffering that results is painful and it grieves God. But there is hope that God’s people can return to the life that he offers. We see this hope fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Instead of God’s people suffering the exile they deserve, Jesus took it upon himself through his death and overwhelmed it through his resurrection. Now all who trust in him can experience a new creation life. Let’s reflect on this.
God expressed anguish over his people as they suffered a violent exile (see Jeremiah 4:19-21). What comes to mind as you imagine God in anguish? Review Jeremiah 4:23-28 as you consider how creation itself mourned with God. What do you notice?
Each generation faces the same stakes that Israel did in Jeremiah’s day. For another example, read 1 Thessalonians 5. With this in mind, what is one practical way you can encourage others to respond to Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)?
Take note of three specific words of warning, instruction, and encouragement that Paul lists in 1 Thessalonians 5. Which one stands out to you and why?
Let your readings and reflections prompt a prayer. Talk to God about what inspired awe, be honest about any of the ways you might relate to Israel’s covenant unfaithfulness, and ask for his help to honor him as the creator and sustainer of your life.