Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Sep 19, 2021
The time of exile in Babylon is over and about 50,000 people return to Jerusalem. We’ll read first about their efforts to restore the city and the Temple, second about the prophets who encouraged them toward faithfulness, and third about faithful Jews still living in Persia.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Sep 12, 2021
This week, we’re covering three books! That’s quite a change from our patterns over the last few weeks. I think a little diversity will keep things interesting for us. We’ll finish Ezekiek with a reversal of what happened at the beginning of the book. Joel will help us see the big picture of the Old Testament. Finally, Daniel will show us what it looks like to be faithful in the midst of an ungodly nation – which should be very relevant for us these days.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Sep 5, 2021
We’re staying with Ezekiel this week to cover most of the second half of his prophetic ministry. As I promised last week, here’s part two of the Bible Project video on Ezekiel. We make a turn from judgment to hope in Ezekiel 34 on Thursday. The message of hope is important – especially for people who live in exile, away from their homeland. The apostle Peter speaks the same message in 1 Peter to the “elect exiles in the Dispersion” about the “living hope kept in heaven for them.” As we read Ezekiel, let’s allow the words of hope to point us to Jesus – our living hope who is seated at the right hand of the Father and interceding for us.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Aug 29, 2021
Let’s read another prolixitous prophet. Ezekiel saw some crazy things as he sat by the Chebar canal in Babylon with the first phase of Judean exiles. He’s in Babylon while Jeremiah is still in Judah. Here’s part 1 of an overview of the whole book that will get us through this week. Remember, the prophets are primarily concerned with calling Israel back to covenant faithfulness in accord with Moses’ prediction in Deuteronomy 30 that exile will be the punishment for disobedience. Ezekiel is no different. He wants Israel to put away her heart of stone and receive a heart of flesh.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Aug 22, 2021
We’ve spent a few weeks now with our friend Jeremiah and we’ll finishing our time with him this week. He’s taken us on a long downward spiral with the people of Judah as they’ve walked the slow march toward exile. Yet amid the suffering and lament he’s shown us glimpses of coming grace from Yahweh for his people. His discipline is sure, but even more certain is his steadfast love which endures forever. As believers on this side of the cross, we can read Jeremiah with hope knowing that the true Shepherd and Righteous Branch is indeed shepherding with justice and reigning in righteousness. He is our God and we are his people. We can stake our whole lives on the steadfast love of the Lord in Jesus Christ.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Aug 15, 2021
Jeremiah’s prophetic roller coaster of emotions makes several more loops and turns. Israel’s long, slow slide into exile finally comes to pass. The Chronicler sets the biblical and theological framework for Israel’s return under Ezra/Nehemiah and ultimately the New Testament writers.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Aug 8, 2021
We’re back into the prophets this week – this time, the prophets who prophesy during Josiah’s reign. We’ll have to learn to hold the tension between the patience of God and the justice of God. We’ll hear about a lot of idolatry and injustice this week. I’ve been helped by Andy Crouch’s definitions of these terms from his book Playing God. Idolatry is worshipping false gods; injustice is an attempt to play god in someone else’s life. Here’s the quote: “God hates idolatry and injustice because they are the same thing: the introduction into God’s very good world of false images, images that destroy the true images God himself placed in the world to declare his character and voice his praise. Whether making false gods (idolatry) or playing false gods (injustice) the result is identical – the true image of God is lost, and not just lost but replace by something that purports, often very persuasively, to represent the ultimate truth about reality.”
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Mon Aug 2, 2021
We’ll finish Isaiah this week, continue along the narrative story from Kings and Chronicles, and jump into Nahum (who prophesies after Sennacherib, which is why his prophecy is included this week). Hold onto your hats: Isaiah has a wonderful ending with a beautiful vision of the new heavens and new earth, Kings and Chronicles will give you whiplash between the “good” and “bad” kings, Nahum will bring a big vision of God and a big vision of his judgment on evil empires.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jul 25, 2021
We’re spending more time with Isaiah this week. We’ve only got to cover nine chapters of bad news this week. We’ll make a turn on Wednesday to the good news of God’s comfort and restoration of his people. We’ll finish the week looking at the coming Servant of the Lord who will bear our iniquities.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jul 18, 2021
We continue spending time in the prophets this week. They’re inviting the people to remain faithful to the covenant, yet announcing judgment for their continuing disobedience. Isaiah’s first 39 chapters are mostly bad news – though there are a few glimpses of hope. Hosea is given the task of being a living parable of Yahweh’s faithfulness to Israel when the Lord tells him to take a prostitute as a wife and pursue her amid all her unfaithfulness to him. Truly the Lord is gracious and merciful and slow to anger.