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The Prophets

July Letter 2024

The books of the prophets are both direct and challenging. As a royal prophet, Isaiah spoke to and during the reigns of four kings of Jerusalem: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. There were many historical shifts and changes during his ministry. The northern country of Israel would fall to the Assyrians, and Judah, Isaiah’s home nation, would be nearly completely taken. Only Jerusalem would see a dynamic miracle of God, rescuing them at the final hour.

Knowing how history progressed helps us understand the power and impact of what Isaiah was prophesying. His days were both gritty and dramatic.

In contrast to Isaiah’s time is the time of Jeremiah. Jeremiah ministered during a time of great failure for Judah. The time for correction was over and Judah was about to face punishment for their actions. An unpopular message from a man who came from Anathoth, likely an unpopular city in its own right.

Anathoth is remembered not only as Jeremiah’s home, but as the home and place of exile for the priest Adonijah. Adonijah had been faithful to God and King David but had backed Solomon’s brother for king before David made his choice of Solomon clear. In other nations or even times, this would have been a death sentence. Instead, Solomon says to him, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign Lord before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.’” (1 Kings 2:26).

With Jeremiah’s life and times in their rightful context, it is no wonder that Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. A brutal message and an unpopular prophet. God says to him, “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” Jer. 1:10.

These two prophets are still relevant for us today. As we watch the news and see that so much of the world is on fire, we are warned to keep ourselves close to the LORD. This month we’ll focus on reading the Word of God and really hearing it.

Pastor Rod Hembree, ThD, DE is the founding pastor of Good Friends Fellowship in Ontario, Canada. He brings his extensive production background and Biblical training together to serve the Body of Christ as the daily host and Executive Director of Bible Discovery. He also hosts a YouTube channel for live prayer and difficult questions.