The Heart of God: The Decline of Judah (7)
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27
Read and meditate on Isaiah 7.10-16, 9.1-7, 11.1-10, 40.1-8, 53.4-16, and Jeremiah 30, 31.
Even as Judah began descending the slope of decline, prophetic words of hope resounded from Isaiah, Micah, and Jeremiah. God does not give up on His people or His promises.
1. God promised His people that a new day was coming for His Kingdom. What would that Kingdom be like, when it finally came?
2. God also promised to send a King to rule this Kingdom. What do we learn about Him from Isaiah 7 and 9? How do these prophesies of a Kingdom and a King connect to and build on what God promised through Jacob (Gen. 49.8-11), Moses (Deut. 17.14-20), and David (2 Sam. 7.1-17)? What does this suggest about the place of God’s Kingdom in the fulfillment of His covenant promises?
3. Explain the prophesies of the suffering Servant in Isaiah 40 and 53. Relate these prophecies to the three unifying threads of Scripture, as we have been tracing them through this study: God’s glory, God’s people, God’s redemption.
4. Jeremiah points forward to the coming of a new covenant. What will be “new” about this covenant? How does it represent a further development of the existing covenant?
5. The failure of the “old” covenant was not in the covenant – God’s promises and His faithfulness – but in the people. Explain.
Because God’s Word cannot fail, and God will not deny Himself, His promises cannot fail, though they may take a different form as His covenant unfolds. Israel and Judah had shown themselves incapable of keeping covenant with God. But He was not incapable of keeping covenant with them. Summarize the state of God’s plan for His people as we see them heading off to exile in Babylon.
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.
T. M. Moore
Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documents provides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).
Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.
We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.