Through the Bible Family Challenge: The Books of the Prophets. Overview & spotlight on Isaiah
Overview: What is a Prophet? He is a chosen messenger who hears from God and relays God’s Words to God’s People. He would have messages of future happenings, words that brought conviction of sin, or failures. He spoke to common people, kings, and nations. The time frame of our prophets lasted about 500 years with Samuel being the first. Then there was about 400 years of silence before John the baptist came on the scene in the New Testament and he was the last. In the books of history in the Old Testament, there are other prophets not listed below.
Below I am going to give you a list of the Prophets and who the specific nations they were assigned:
Israel (10 northern tribes) – Amos, Hosea
Judah (2 southern tribes) – Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah
Jews returning to Jerusalem – Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Nineveh – Jonah, Nahum
Babylon – Daniel, Ezekiel
Edom – Obadiah
*Above is their main assignment…they spoke to others as well.
Estimated Time Frame: 739BC to 686BC
Isaiah means “Yahweh (God) is salvation. Isaiah was born about the time the kingdoms of Greece and Rome were beginning. Take your fingers and do the walking through this book. You will find it has 66 chapters comparible to the Bible which has 66 books. Isaiah contains the fullest revelation of Jesus in the Old Testament. He wrote these messages from God 700 years before Jesus was born. His words provide proof that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. Read Isaiah 6:1-8 …great description of heaven’s throne room and Isaiah’s call. Read Isaiah 9:1-7, and Isaiah 55:8-9.
Just to note, when I was preparing to come to Asheville and be a part of Children’s Ministry at Highland. I was reading in Isaiah and the Lord gave me a verse that I hear in my heart to this day. It is Isaiah 8:18, “Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.” May our children know our God and be standing with us with rock solid faith in their hearts.
Isaiah served God’s people in and around Jerusalem in the southern kingdom of Judah. As a Prophet, he served through 4 kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. In chapters 1-39 we learn about the northern kingdom of Israel and how they were captured by the Assyrians. Isaiah records how he saw Gods protection of Judah, the southern kingdom from the Assyrians. He knew Judah would someday fall to the Babylonians. He wrote God’s words about these events and about the coming Savior. Chapters 13-23 Isaiah spoke about how God was angry not only with Israel, but also with the enemies of Israel. He told how these wicked nations would be destroyed. Chapters 24-35 You will find the Prophet explaining that at some future time God will destroy all the forces of evil on the earth and set up His own Kingdom. (yeah!) Chapters 36-38 Isaiah reports the events going on in Jerusalem which are also recorded in II Chronicles 29-32. Chapters 40-66 Isaiah tells God’s promise of His people’s return to their land and of the coming Savior, This was all part of God’s plan. For it would be in the land of Palestine and through God’s people, the Jews, that the promised Savior would be born. Isaiah also told of the future glory of Israel. (What the Bible is all about, p. 142 & 143)
The Dead Sea Scrolls. The words in your copy of the Bible were first written down a long, long time ago. They were written by men through whom God chose to speak. We don’t have the first copies of the books of the Bible. But other people who knew how important God’s Word is made some extra copies.
God watched over this copying of His Word. As the years passed and the old copies got lost or hard to read, new copies were made. Some of the new copies were made in other languages so everyone could understand God’s Word.
If you have ever tried to copy something word for word, you know that it is hard to do it correctly. Usually, there are some mistakes. People began to worry that, over the years, some mistakes might have been made in copying God’s Word.
In the 1940′s a discovery was made which proved that those who copied the Bible had been very, very careful. A shepherd boy in the Bible lands found a cave that had been forgotten for a long time. The cave was near the Dead Sea. Inside the cave the boy found scrolls that had been hidden in jars. One of the scrolls turned out to be a copy of the book of Isaiah–copied by people who lived when Jesus lived on earth!
People who knew a lot about what is written in the Bible checked the Bible we have today with this very old copy. They found that God had truly protected His Word. We can know for sure that what we read in our Bible is the same message God gave to the first writers. (What the Bible is all about, p.145)