Tomorrow we will be kicking off our next “In the Word” project. We will be reading through the major prophets in a year. This probably raises some questions in your mind. For example, who are they? And, why are they called the Major Prophets? Well, the major prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. They are called the Major Prophets simply because among the books of the prophets they are the longest.
Another question you might have is why? Why take the time to dig into these books that were written more than 2500 years ago? Let me offer four compelling reasons why we should take a year to understand these prophets. The first, is that these prophets are referred to over 700 times in the New Testament. In other words the major prophets were a significant part of the foundation of the preaching and teaching of Jesus and the apostles. If the major prophets were important to them then they should also be of vital interest to us too, don’t you think?
Second, since the major prophets are so prominent in the New Testament teaching our understanding of the New Testament will be lacking if we are not well grounded in these prophets. It may be something like suffering from anemia. Just like someone who is anemic can get by on iron deficient blood, so we can get by on a deficient knowledge of the prophets. But also like a shot of iron can bring new vitality so an infusion of knowledge of the prophets can bring new vitality to the life of the believer.
A third reason is that prophecy forms about 27% of the whole Bible. The major prophets contribute a major portion of this percentage. If I were to tear the major prophets out of the Bible I happen to have at hand, I would be missing 357 pages of God’s revelation to me. If I were to tear 27% of the pages out of that same Bible then I would miss 581 pages of God’s word. This is what we do when we neglect prophecy. We muzzle God. We effectively tear those pages out of our Bible.
Lastly, by neglecting prophecy we rob ourselves of a critical source of hope and encouragement. Prophecy puts today’s problems into an eternal perspective (John 16:4). Prophecy gives us patience and stability in the chaotic world we find ourselves in (John 16:1, James 5:7-9). Prophecy also encourages us in holy, sober living (1 Pet. 1:13, 4:7). The major prophets that we will be reading are also immediately practical. I think you will find that these prophets are giving warning, encouragement, advice, and correction to their contemporaries that have immediate and profound application to the times we live in and to ourself.
Here is how to start. First, click here, to get a copy of the reading plan. You will notice that this is not an “every day” plan. You will be reading three to four chapters a week. This will give you time to digest what you are reading as well as an opportunity to catch up if you need to. Second, I will send you an email every day. This will remind you of the days reading. It will also give you a link to a 10 – 15 minute video that previews the days reading. If you aren’t getting these in your inbox then check your junk mail folder. If you find it in there you ought to be able to right-click and mark it as “not junk”. From then on the email will show up in your inbox. You can also subscribe to the TheoFaith Youtube Channel. Just click on that link to subscribe. If you do that you will get a note every time I add a new video.
So, get that reading plan and dive in tomorrow!