Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Scriptorium Studies

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, so it will not surprise us that their messages resonate with one another in many ways. Like all faithful prophets, Micah brought the Word of God to His people, calling them to remember His grace and to turn from their sins, and warning that judgment from God was coming.

We have a great salvation, and Jesus is the whole of it. He has pre-eminence in all things, and He is the Head of His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The Colossians understood the power of the Gospel. They had been called to be saints of God and were conveyed into the Kingdom of His Son. They were increasing in Him and in the good works of love that mark our discipleship.

The book of Ruth starts with tragedy, as a faithless man leads his wife into exile in Moab. What Naomi did not know was that God was preparing great blessings for her and her faithful Moabitess daughter-in-law, Ruth.

The book of Deuteronomy consists of a series of messages Moses delivered to the people of Israel, east of the Jordan River on the plains of Moab.

These are Moses’ last words, and they are powerful. He begins with a brief history lesson, because he is speaking to a new generation of Israelites, many of whom were born during the years of wandering in the wilderness. Moses needed to make sure they understood both the promises of God and the mistakes of their forebears, before he turned the reins of leadership over to Joshua.

Jeremiah was the last prophet of God before the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. His message is urgent, uncompromising, and pointed. It threatens judgment from God, and it promises a new day of covenant renewal and blessings.

Matthew roots the story of Jesus in Old Testament revelation. In the process, he teaches us how to read the Old Testament, so that we see Jesus on its every page. The story of redemption breaks into time and history with the birth of Jesus through two faithful and obedient people. God Who is with us has finally come! And He’ll never leave us again.

The genealogies of Scripture are like the gleanings after a harvest. Theologians, teachers, and Bible students eagerly and repeatedly reap the fruit of the books, doctrines, themes, topics, and other offerings from the field of God’s Word. But the genealogies get short shrift. We speed through them, or even skip them altogether when we come to them in our reading. We leave them for someone else to glean.

But there is meat on those shocks and stalks, and in this series, Gleanealogy, we are the gleaners, determined to bring that meat to table.

Ecclesiastes is a series of counsels, interviews, proverbs, and “memos” to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, soon to become King of Israel. Apparently, Solomon perceived that he was getting off on the wrong foot, and he collected these various teachings, aphorisms, and personal experiences to try to forestall Rehoboam’s drift into a life of folly and vanity.

Like all the prophets, Isaiah brings powerful words of judgment for the people of God, indicting them for their sin, calling them to repent, and warning them that the wrath of God is about to unfold against them. At the same time, Isaiah points forward to a day of restoration, of salvation, and of the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom, when all things will be redeemed and made new. Isaiah is the first of major prophets, so called because of the quantity of their writing. In many ways, his book is the most beautiful of all the prophetic writings.

Paul’s ministry in Europe began in Macedonia, where in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, he preached with power and saw many come to faith in Jesus.

But resistance was strong, angry, and at times, violent. From Berea Paul moved on to Athens and Corinth in Achaia (southern Greece). While there, he received a report from Timothy about the church in Thessalonica, to which he responded with 1 Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians followed later, after another and disturbing report reached him about the situation in Macedonia.

The general impression we get from these two letters is that the church in Thessalonica was faithful and outspoken about its faith in Jesus Christ.

The book of Joshua is in many ways like the book of Acts, introducing a new era in the history of God’s covenant and showing the enormous potential for blessing to those who follow God and keep His covenant.

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