Prophetic in the OT:
- Major: Isaiah, Jeremiah/Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
- Minor: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Two fold thrusts:
- foretelling - accurately predict because God foreordain
- forth-telling - preached what God already said
We must do the same:
- foretell - what has been revealed by God
- forth-tell - truth that has been revealed by God
The Evangelical Preacher: Isaiah
Brought the good news of salvation to the world. The evangelistic news. But brought the bad news as well.
Chapters 1-39: Doom, judgement, woe of God
God says, “I am weary of your worship.” Judgement upon Israel and the surrounding nations (See Ezekiel).
Great preachers are not ones with the greatest gifts but stand in awe of who God is. The understand God in his holiness. And they repent in their holiness.
Chapters 40-66: Grace of God
Isaiah 40:1-2 (CSB) “Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
2 “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and announce to her
that her time of hard service is over,
her iniquity has been pardoned,
and she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.”
Grace of God: Christ forgives
This is the preaching of Christ. Taking rest in the perfect work of Christ. This is what God has done for us. This is what Christ did to save his people from their sins.
No matter our sins–God has greater grace. He alone gives, “grace upon grace.”
Isaiah 40:3-4 (CSB) A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain.
Grace of God: Christ restores
Our low living must be raised. Our pride must be leveled down and razed.
We will be delivered from our despair. We will be brought properly into the presence of our sweet God.
Isaiah 40:5 (CSB) And the glory of the LORD will appear,
and all humanity together will see it,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Grace of God: Christ is revealed
Isaiah 40:6-7 (CSB) A voice was saying, “Cry out! ”
Another said, “What should I cry out? ”
“All humanity is grass,
and all its goodness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flowers fade
when the breath of the LORD blows on them;
indeed, the people are grass.
Grace of God: We are here for a short time
Isaiah 40:8 (CSB) The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.”
Grace of God: But Christ is eternal
The message we bring is an unchanging message that endures forever.
Isaiah 40:9-11 (CSB) 9 Zion, herald of good news,
go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, herald of good news,
raise your voice loudly.
Raise it, do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God! ”
10 See, the Lord GOD comes with strength,
and his power establishes his rule.
His wages are with him,
and his reward accompanies him.
11 He protects his flock like a shepherd;
he gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them in the fold of his garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing.
Grace of God: Here is Our Great Christ!
Isaiah 40:12 (CSB) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains on a balance and the hills on the scales?
Grace of God: God is God Alone
Isaiah 40:13 (CSB) Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or who gave him counsel?
Grace of God: God gives us this word without counsel
Isaiah 40:14 (CSB) Who did he consult?
Who gave him understanding
and taught him the paths of justice?
Who taught him knowledge
and showed him the way of understanding?
Grace of God:
Isaiah 40:15-17 (CSB) Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered as a speck of dust on the scales;
he lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon’s cedars are not enough for fuel,
or its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him;
they are considered by him
as empty nothingness.
Grace of God: God cannot be brought down to us
Isaiah 40:18-24 (CSB) With whom will you compare God?
What likeness will you set up for comparison with him?
19 An idol? — something that a smelter casts
and a metalworker plates with gold
and makes silver chains for?
20 A poor person contributes wood for a pedestal
that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not fall over.
21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you
from the beginning?
Have you not considered
the foundations of the earth?
22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing
and makes judges of the earth like a wasteland.
24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
their stem hardly takes root in the ground
when he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.
Isaiah 40:25-26 (CSB) To whom will you compare me,
or who is my equal? ” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up and see!
Who created these?
He brings out the stars by number;
he calls all of them by name.
Because of his great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.
Grace of God: God has no equals
What is preaching? Preaching gives men and women a sense of God.
The Weeping Preacher: Jeremiah
Preach with a whole, deep heart. God is heartbroken when his people stray. Does your heart break for the same? When the people are straying far from God.
Jeremiah 9:1 (CSB) If my head were a flowing spring,
my eyes a fountain of tears,
I would weep day and night
over the slain of my dear people.
We are not scolding them. We are coming alongside the people and weep with them in our despair, our sin and turn towards the God who rescues.
1 Corinthians 13:1-4 (CSB) If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant,
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (CSB) “ ‘This is what the LORD says:
The wise person should not boast in his wisdom;
the strong should not boast in his strength;
the wealthy should not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this:
that he understands and knows me —
that I am the LORD, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the LORD’s declaration.
What we must preach is for people to seek God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto them–the greatest and the only thing that matters is God.
On the preaching of John Calvin:
As though he would put his arms around the congregation and bring them up to corem Deo, in the face of God, and leave them there to deal with God.
The Empowered Preacher: Ezekiel
Ezekiel 2 (CSB) He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you.” 2 As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the one who was speaking to me. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to the rebellious pagans who have rebelled against me. The Israelites and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this day. 4 The descendants are obstinate and hardhearted. I am sending you to them, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says.’ 5 Whether they listen or refuse to listen — for they are a rebellious house — they will know that a prophet has been among them.
6 “But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them and do not be afraid of their words, even though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. 7 Speak my words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.
8 “And you, son of man, listen to what I tell you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” 9 So I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and there was a written scroll in it. 10 When he unrolled it before me, it was written on the front and back; words of lamentation, mourning, and woe were written on it.
We cannot do this on our own. God gives us supernatural grace to preach his word.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 (CSB) “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, give them a warning from me. 8 If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked one, you will surely die,’ but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. 9 But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn’t turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have rescued yourself.
The people’s blood is on their hands. You must do what God has called you to do.