Micah the sympathetic prophet

Micah was a worthy champion of the poor who had courage and power to deliver an effective message. Knowing his people so intimately Micah was able to present in vivid colors the challenge to justice. Micah had great sympathy with the oppressed people. Micah’s spirit burned with righteous indignation as he saw the random injustice practiced upon his friends. Christ is pictured as “The Bethlehemite” in Micah 5:2, and as “The Prince of Peace” in Micah 5:5.

We see they are in the last half of the eighth century, and it finds its place in the golden age of the Old Testament Prophecy – right around 745 BC – to which, Tiglath-Pileser III began his reconquest of the West. Assyria’s armies had casted shadows upon the places of Syria and Israel. The King of Syria, Rezin, and the King of Israel, Pekah, began to depend on the King of Egypt to help them – however, the small kingdoms of the west were under sway from Assyria.

Then, in 705 BC, there was a powerful, young Sennacherib who came to rule in Assyria. Moment-by-moment, Sennacherib’s armies moved into the west – and left none but Jerusalem remaining. Hezekiah and Isaiah, who depended on Yahweh, kept the people from surrender. After that, a deliverance came when 185,000 soldiers were suddenly smitten from what appeared to be Yahweh rescuing His Chosen People. Sennacherib fled back to his own land, and left Hezekiah and his people praising God, their great savior. There was much calamity in this time, and God was determined that His Purposes would work out great, so He led His followers continually.

The country preacher, Micah, had known of the tragic situation in Judah and Israel for the priests there were moral and corrupt. Prophets were hirelings, and nobles took an odd pleasure in defrauding the poor. The nation overall was ready for a collapse. The princes, priest, prophets, and the people were all responsible for the downfall. Callous greed and cruelty mark the ungodly conduct of the hour.

The people didn’t want any of the preaching, except the weak, insipid variety that would allow them to go on in their way without embarrassment. They were involved in soothsaying, witchcraft, superstition, and idolatry. Sadly, they lacked honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. The sins involved were oppression of the poor, unscrupulous use of power, lack of integrity, reckless scorn of religion, false prophecy and false prophets, and greedy corruption in the church and state.

  • Micah was a native of a small village near the Philistine border, which was called Morsheth-Gath – which was about 20 miles from Jerusalem and about 17 miles from Tekoa.
  • Micah was a country man who was disgusted about the residents of the cities. However, he learned to love his capital city with a sincere devotion.
  • He was naturally suspicious.
  • He was keenly aware of world events and their significance, even though he was a peasant farmer.
  • His contemporaries were Amos and Hosea in the north and Isaiah in the south.
  • He had ethical integrity, courage, and the unflinching truthfulness in speaking the whole counsel of God unto the city folk.
  • He had a personality like Amos and Elijah. He loved his land, capital city, and the poor. He had a passion for righteousness, which drove him forth with a good word for those lacking ethical standards.
  • He was somewhat unsophisticated and rustic, but always a seeker of justice and mercy for his peasant friends – the ones that suffered so bitterly.
  • He was a truly tender-hearted Prophet of the people, especially a champion of the poor. His name means, “Who is like Yahweh?”

The issue was Jehovah’s past and present controversy with Israel. God entered into a controversy with the whole nation. He speaks about their sin as well as impending judgment. Yahweh’s controversy with Judah, Israel, and all the nations of his chosen, was their iniquities.

His view of God:

  • He is a judge, according to 1:3, 6; 3:12.
  • He is a God of ethical righteousness, according to 6:8; 2:1-2; 3:2-3, 10-11; 7:2.
  • He is a God who loves peace, according to 4:3; 5:5.
  • He is a God of hope and promise, according to 7:7, 18-20.
  • He is a God that gathers the remnant unto Himself, according to 2:12.

Oh if people of our day would view God similarly! 🙂

Micah’s prophecies of Jesus Christ

  • Second Advent of Messiah (2:12-13)
  • Millennial Restoration (chapter 4; Isaiah 2:1)
  • First Advent of Messiah and his redemptive work necessary first as a guarantee for eternal restoration (5:1-3).
  • Israel to be delivered from the antichrist by the Messiah at the Second Advent (5:4-6).
  • Israel to be restored at the return of the Messiah (5:7-15)
  • New Testament: Matthew 2:5-6 speaking of Micah and Christ speaks of Micah when commissioning His Twelve Disciples (compare Micah 7:6 with Matthew 10:35-36).

Jonah the prophet swallowed by a fish

It seems people could have issues with the fact that apparently he was swallowed by a fish as it reads in the OT, but in the NT (Matthew 12:40), it reads a whale. People wonder if there was a mistranslation, and how this could be so. The purpose of the book is to illustrate that God delayed the destruction of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire for almost a century – so we see the powerful mercy of our God. His Salvation is not only for the Jew, Jonah’s nation, but also for all humanity and even the enemy. If the wicked shall repent and turn to God, God would be merciful to them.

Sources verifying Jonah’s calling and work

  • 2 Kings 14:25-27 – This refers to the fact that the Lord spoke through Jonah the Prophet.
  • Matthew 12:38-42 – This refers to the fact that there was a sign of the Prophet Jonah, for Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days – and therefore, the Son of man would be three days and nights in the heart of the earth. The old Jonah had been declared before, but the new Jonah is now here.
  • Matthew 16:4 – This is a reference to Christ comparing Himself to Jonah. Jonah was in many ways an important sign and type of Christ. This generation was seeking a sign and couldn’t find it, so the Lord points the Pharisees to the sign of the Prophet Jonah – which, comparing to Jonah, there are many different ways that Jesus had compared to him:
    • Jonah was thrown overboard by his shipmates – Christ was delivered to His death by the Jews.
    • Jonah was willingly thrown overboard – Christ laid down His Life, and Man couldn’t take it.
    • Jonah was thrown into the sea to save the others on the ship – Christ in His death had saved people.
    • Jonah, after three days in the belly of the whale, was cast up onto dry land – Christ rose again on the Third Day!
  • Luke 11:29-32 – Here, Christ promised one more sign be given, as the sign of Jonah – to which, He warns them not to avoid the sign. People had repented at the preaching of Jonah – and the same shall be done here, so God’s People can be saved. Christ is telling them that the same sign is apparent here, is that Man has sinned, and atonement is necessary (He plans on atoning).

Jonah’s background

Tradition says: Jonah was the son of the widow of Zarephath and therefore was the lad whom Elijah had raised from the dead; they are one and the same. Jonah was a native of Gath-hepher, near Nazareth, this would make him most likely a Galilean. His mission was to the city of Nineveh – which he would deliver a message to the Ninevites.

Jonah’s Prophetic Office is confirmed and vouched for by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 12:38-42. He was unlike Jesus in Commitment: Jonah, overlooking repentant Nineveh, pouted; Jesus, overlooking unrepentant Jerusalem, wept. Jonah has been called “The Elder Prodigal son” of the Old Testament. The people of Nineveh believed God, as we see in 3:5, and proclaimed a fast and wore sackcloth. They lastly repented at the word that came through Jonah. God saw their works, as we see in 3:10, and that they repented – so God repented of the evil (which means He withdrew what He was going to do).

Lessons of value for all people

  • Self-will always brings destruction, for it is futile to resist the will of God.
  • Do not rush to meet the storms of life without God.
  • God loves and seeks Salvation for all people, Jew and Gentile.
  • You cannot escape from God.
  • Your sin always affects others.
  • A right Spirit quick to obey, and one full of thanksgiving, pleases God.

Jesus wants to give you the Kingdom! | Luke 12:32 commentary

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

People must claim loyalty to God at all times. It is highly important to understand this premise. If certain things that are less than humans receive provision from the Lord, then His People ought to know that they will be provided for, and even more will receive the spiritual Kingdom that He has prepared for us. It is His pleasure to give us the Kingdom of God.

Of course, giving this thought to fishermen was probably to them quite a surprise. Instead of trying to conquer a kingdom on Earth for themselves, Jesus was offering them a spiritual Kingdom, so they realize they do not have to overwork themselves trying to fulfill a kingdom on Earth. Working for God’s Kingdom allows one to be in greater rest while helping others.

The Lord is instructing simply that His Disciples are heirs to the Heavenly Kingdom where their treasures are.

The herdsman and prophet named Amos

Amos was a common, ordinary, everyday, working man – a herdsman and a “dresser of sycamore tree.” Dresser means, “nipper” or “pincher” – which was for the sycamore fruit, which can be ripened by puncturing it. Amos was drafted by God to Preach National accountability to Israel in the North.

  • He pictures Christ as “The Restorer of the House of David.” (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:15-16)
  • The Key Word of the Book was Punishment.
  • Its Central Theme was “The Ultimate Reign of David” and “National Accountability for National Sins.”
  • Amos was known as “The Prophet of Justice.”
  • The main characters of the Book are the Prophet Amos, King Jeroboam II, and The Israelites.

Overall, society and religion were bankrupt. Amos was a strange personality that came from the Judean wilderness with a burning message from God. He was influenced by Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. We see the Land of Israel enjoy a season of peace. Then, King Jeroboam II came to throne and began a vigorous rebuilding program, to which, he recaptured lost territory and expanded the limits of his kingdom.

We then see King Uzziah built in much of the same in the south. Judah was a strong and vigorous Kingdom with armies, fortifications, trade routes, and other powerful political alliances – to which, these two aggressive Kings carried their small kingdoms along from victory to victory. Expansion came, as well as freedom, prosperity, and peace. There was also, though, sins such as drunkenness, extravagant meals, carousals, slumber, among other things – and retribution was coming.

The rich gained their wealth through injustice and oppression, as always, and the poor workers in the fields suffered cruelty on them from the landowners and heartless creditors. Dishonest merchants and unfair judges made attempts to keep the lives of the poor miserable beyond endurance.

The spiritual conditions involved that the people were outwardly religious, but had gross moral behavior – and it was openly aided and abetted by the religious leaders. The rich nobles took the lead in religious matters and were selfish, among indifferent, to the cries and groans of the suffering multitude. This suffering multitude suffered because of injustice, oppression, and violence. Lastly, they lacked knowledge overall.

Direct call from God

The Lord told him to, “…Go, prophesy unto my people Israel” (Amos 7:15). He was not a member of any prophetical group or had any formal training (as we know). He was simply pulled from his animals in the wilderness by this overpowering conviction from God that He wanted him to take a message to Bethel. He must have felt God’s presence upon him.

In addition to that, he’s also been called the prophet of “woe,” because the message of his call was a stern one for a people living in luxury and self-indulgence. However, he received the call and moved in humility. He was industrious and productive before God, and was in harmony with nature. He sought wisdom and preached simply so that the hearer would understand. He was successful, as he had great influence over the Land of Israel.

He approaches the nations: He began in Damascus, and quickly caught their sympathetic attention. He turned the emotion of the people quickly toward Philistia, claiming to be a prophet from God with a genuine word against these bitter enemies of Israel. In rapid succession, his sharp tongue and quick wit lashed out the enemies of Israel and he hit broadside at Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab – closing in on the worst and wicked enemies; revealing justice was on its way to the rebellious nations. The crowd hung on to his every word and likely praised him with agreement. Next, he pointed his finger at Judah/Israel telling them they have despised the Law of the Lord and failed to keep His Commandments.

We see Amos quoted in Acts 15:15-16, “And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.” This is known so that “men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (17).

Six gentile nations warned against harming Israel and Judah

  • Syria is condemned to destruction and captivity, because of its continual cruelty. They tortured and butchered its victims using brutal methods.
  • Philistia captured cities and sold entire populations as slaves – whether men, women, or children. In punishment, Philistia’s own main cities would be destroyed.
  • Tyre would be conquered and burnt to the ground for deceiving its treaty partners, and also they had bought and sold slaves like merchandise.
  • Edom is condemned for their savage attacks against Israel without question of the blood relation between the two nations.
  • Ammon also would suffer a devastating judgment, because of its merciless killings of whole populations, just so they could expand their territory.
  • Foreign armies would invade Moab, and in a large judgment from God, its cities would be burnt and leaders killed, because it acted with uncontrollable hatred toward its enemy.

Lessons people can learn

  • Hollow and insincere worship displeases God.
  • When one possesses power over others, there is danger.
  • God is not pleased when people turn away from Him, because He only wants what’s best for His People – and that is to be loved by Him and walk with Him.
  • God helps us through trials by guiding us and giving us wisdom to understand what’s going on.

“God is my judge” – The prophet named Daniel

OVERALL:

  • Daniel was a statesman Prophet as the others were.
  • His name means, “God is my Judge.”
  • He mainly wrote to “The Gentile Rulers in Babylon” – which included the Chaldean, Mede, and Persian.
  • He was a “kingdom” man, because he seemed to always have knowledge of the political realm, but also was given visions of the future coming of the Kingdom of God!
  • He seemed to be the only Prophet who didn’t just picture Christ as just a shepherd, but he pictured Christ as a coming ruler of the world! The other Prophets seemed to picture Christ as being around for a temporary era or some other kind of symbolic form.

Historical background of Daniel

Daniel was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar at the time of the first invasion, which was in the third year of Jehoiakim. Ezekiel was then taken to Babylon in the second invasion, to which, was eight years later than Daniel and eleven years before the complete destruction of Jerusalem. Ezekiel and Daniel had ministered entirely outside of Palestine, however, Daniel’s Ministry was to powerful Gentile rulers, whereas Ezekiel’s Ministry was to poor Jewish exiles. It was established that Ezekiel and Daniel were Prophets at the same time. Though they did not work hand-in-hand, they still carried out God’s Will.

In Jerusalem overall, the people are in constant turmoil. Jehoiakim is succeed by his son, who reigned only three months before going to captivity in Babylon along with many others in Judah. Daniel was taken in a group along with other captives to Babylon. Zedekiah was left on the throne in Jerusalem as the agent of the Babylonian government, and Jeremiah was the preacher still in the Holy City of Jerusalem to carry God’s message to the people.

Around 587 BC, Nebuchadnezzar returned to put down the rebellion of Zedekiah and take the rest of the people to join the exiles by the river Chebar. Many things were destroyed in Jerusalem, and others were taken away to captivity, to which, Jeremiah’s prophecy had happened. In Babylon, conditions were just as horrible. We see Daniel and a few other Jewish boys come in 605 BC, and Ezekiel and the upper class brought in 598 BC.

It is believed that he belonged to a family of high ranking and possibly of the royal house. He was taken, then, in the first group when the aristocracy was deported. He was taken into captivity in Babylon at age 16, and the remainder of his life (which was 69 years) was spent in Babylon, where he lived a saintly life in a sinful court. Ezekiel referred to Daniel as a pattern of piety, a ruler of righteousness. Daniel was of a despised servile people, and yet, he never deviated in his devotion to Jehovah.

Daniel rose to positions of highest power under four absolute monarchs of three different nations – Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar of Chaldea; Darius of Media; and Cyrus of Persia.

He compares with Revelation and Ezekiel as an Apocalyptic Prophet – which would be a writer concerning the end times. It says in Daniel 7:15, “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.” He had many visions, especially of the end times, and it took a toll on his mindset (good and bad). He was faithful to God, even in a foreign land to the point of disobeying the King. He was pious, and wanted to keep his piety and was willing to risk his life for it. He also refused to sinfully bow down to the idols they had offered. He ministered to the Gentile rulers by interpreting dreams and visions, to which, he was a true prophet and discerner of things. His warning to those in the future was about the Second Coming of Christ, which involved end-time events people needed to be aware.

The Monarchs ruling in Daniel’s day

  • Nebuchadnezzar of Chaldea – He was the second king of Babylon; succeeding his father on the throne in 604 BC and reigned until 561 BC. Daniel 1:1 says this, “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.” Appears Nebuchadnezzar came to besiege Jerusalem, and he seemed to be a power hungry leader – who cared very little for the captives.
  • Belshazzar of Chaldea – A free drinker (he seemed to like the bottle very much as we see in the fifth chapter of Daniel); he was the Chaldean king under whom Babylon was taken by Darius of Median.
  • Darius of Mede/Median – The son of Xerxes (9:1) was reigning now over the Chaldeans. In 6:1, we see that he was placed over the kingdom of a hundred and twenty princes. Daniel was the first (an important figure).
  • Cyrus of Persia – He led Persia in its conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, and was important for bringing God’s purposes in Israel to fulfillment, as we see in Isaiah 45:1. He gave the Jews that were held captive the permission to return to their homeland and rebuild their life and religion (as we see in Ezra 1:1-4).

Jesus sealed this book

Jesus set His seal upon this book as “inspired of God” in Matthew 24:15 – to which, was quoted previously, and His own title, “Son of Man,” was based on Daniel 7:13. Both the Lord Jesus and Daniel prophesy the “coming in the clouds with power and glory” – as we see in Daniel 7:13-14 and Matthew 24:30.

Three major divisions of his writings

  1. The Prologue of Daniel (1-2:45) – Daniel as he grew up, and the hard times that he faced were explained, especially under Nebuchadnezzar. Also, we see Nebuchadnezzar’s dream unfold, and Daniel wanted to help interpret it.
  2. The Promotion of Daniel (2:46-6:28) – Because of Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he was promoted to Chief Administrator of the Kingdom and Head over his Council of Advisers. Daniel revealed another dream of Nebuchadnezzar’s and urged him to repent, to which, he finally submitted humbly to God. Later, new leaders over his region not knowing his record with Nebuchadnezzar, he was accused of different things. He also rejected bowing down or attending to the new religious law they made, so he was punished into the lion’s den – to which, God miraculously saved him and it was a sign unto the people that God was great.
  3. The Previews of Daniel (7-12:13) – Daniel has several different apocalyptic visions of Jesus and the end times, to which, he describes in incredible detail.

Dream of the “image” interpreted

What Nebuchadnezzar saw was a huge statue made of a variety of substances, from head to toe, decreased in value but increased in strength. The fee, however, which supported the statue were brittle. A huge stone, which was supernaturally formed, struck the statue at its feet so that the whole thing would crumble to dust and be blown away. The stone, however, grew into a mountain, which covered the whole earth.

The dream concerned the future of the King’s Kingdom, to which, the climax of the coming events would lead. Its main purpose was to show Nebuchadnezzar that God is the sovereign ruler of the world – and that He sets up kingdoms and destroys the same with His Own Will.

Therefore, the Medo-Persian Empire (which was the chest and arms of silver) would soon replace the mighty Babylonian Empire headed by Nebuchadnezzar (the head of gold) as the ruling power. The Medo-Persian Empire would be replced by the Greek Empire (which is typified by the belly and thighs of bronze).

Finally, the Roman Empire will take it last (legs of iron) and also take in more scattered states. However, it wouldn’t be able to holds its empire together in a stable union (symbolized by the feet that were part iron, part clay and brittle).

During such time in the Roman Empire then, God would intervene and the might empires would crumble before the coming of the supernatural king, Jesus Christ. How incredible! The supernatural stone coming to smash the feet typified this. The Kingdom of God introduced by Jesus Christ would overspread the world and last eternally (to which, is finally symbolized by the great mountain that filled the earth).

The values Daniel taught all people

  • The Lord should be glorified, because He is our deliverer. ·        We should encourage each other and build each other up as well.
  • We should resist the forces and enemies of our faith.
  • We should learn and attend to the vision and Prophecies of the end times, so we can get a more glorious picture of Christ.
  • We are to be a witness of the end time revelation, based on how God leads us to acknowledge His glory!
  • Though we face hard times and trial, we must always stand up for what we believe in – because in the end: God works everything out for the good.
  • We don’t have to worry, because God is our provider.
  • He is excellent in every way and will give us opportunities to minister unto people – where He will reveal His glory to that person being ministered to.

The value of chapter 6

Chapter 6 is a favorite chapter, because it shows the most intense fear anyone can face is when they fear for their life – but, ultimately, it shows that Daniel’s uncompromising belief in God, especially His Salvation, would free Him from it and He would be glorified in the end. Even through potentially intense fear, Daniel instead chose to believe in God’s Salvation and knew He would be there in the end!

  • When Daniel returned to his high office, he had troubles because Babylon has just fallen the night he was reinstated to office. The new rulers were aware of his record under Nebuchadnezzar, so they made him one of the three presidents that would help administrate.
  • He had great abilities, and the other two presidents became jealous of him, so they wanted him out. However, they didn’t find any kind of mismanagement or offense to bring against him, so they crafted a strategy to cause him to stumble.
    • The object of their plunder was to bring in a new religious law that Daniel would not obey, because of “religious” or “pious” beliefs.
    • They weaseled their way right into the king’s hand by making him believe that the three presidents came up with the idea together, and therefore, King Darius agreed to the order. o   When Daniel heard of the new law, it was already approved and sealed from the King, to which, he could do nothing. He made no effort to obey it, because of his piety.
    • The other two presidents worked out a way to catch him in the act so they could accuse him to the King. They had him condemned finally and then thrown into the den of lions – even if the King didn’t want it to happen like that.
    • God, however, had a different plan, and decided to deliver Daniel – which showed that God was glad that Daniel did not sin. This also showed that Daniel did not do anything against the King, and that God would be made known to them as merciful and good – therefore, they had believed that the God of David was good and that they approve!
  • Daniel continued to prosper in the administration!

Jeremiah: A prophet of many sorrows

OVERALL:

  • Jeremiah was a lamenting man, with many sorrows, because he loved God and loved God’s people. Therefore, to see so many suffer and died in front of him (especially those close to him).
  • Many call him the “prophet of love” because of his heart for God and the people.
  • He pictures man as a backslider. He felt the need to preach to the people to return to their Father, their Lord!
  • He sees the people as hopeless, but doesn’t give up on proclaiming the love of the Lord and caring nature of God!

The background of Jeremiah the prophet

At the beginning, there is the reign of Manasseh, which he began to reign after the death of the good King Hezekiah. Manasseh controlled the affairs of Judah for 55 years, wherefore, much innocent blood was shed at his hand and it is likely that Isaiah was executed by Manasseh’s order. Yahweh’s religion was bad in the land at this time, and then Josiah came to rule around 641 or 637 BC, which he was led to change the entire nation and bring them back unto God. He began the temple cleaning and a change to people’s lives – and therefore, the Book of the Law was found in the Temple. Reform was being done vigorously, and it seems Zephaniah had a great part in it. Jeremiah was seemingly interested in the reforms, also.

Soon, Nebuchadnezzar became King of Babylon and Jehoiakim was on the throne of Judah. Both of these men were bad, and Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem because of Jehoiakim’s disloyalty, to which Jehoiakim was on the throne for three months, but his reign ended badly when the city was captured. Many things, such as wealth, etc. was taken.

Socially, it seemed the rich were powerful, unscrupulous, and oblivious to the needs of the poor, as the chasm was there. People lived in misery, and poverty was ridiculous as the rich hoarded many things from the poor. Religiously, the place was deplorable and hideous overall. Jeremiah found a strange mixture of Canaan’s nature religion, Babylonian cults, Jezebel’s Baalism, and other formalisms. Jeremiah felt the people were very bad off morally, and that he had a crisis on his hands, because the people were superficial and weak. People became incapable of understanding genuine spiritual religion, and therefore, Jeremiah lamented for them.

He was trained early in his life, as he grew up in an established village of King David’s great Priest Abiathar in Anathoth. He grew up with scholars, priests, prophets, and other students of Yahweh’s teachings. World affairs had quite an impression on the boy as he great, and soon the Kingdom would change with the ushering in of the reign of King Josiah. This brought many other changes. Through many events that brought fear, Jeremiah stayed healthy.

Suddenly, Jeremiah realized God’s call for him to do His work, and that God had been calling him since birth, which was quite an impression on him. He knew that he was called for sure, and what many believe as a priest by birth! He was called at an early age into Prophetic Ministry (1:4-5). He responded to the Lord with a bit of doubt in verse 6, “behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” However, God told him to not say that, but that he shall go to all what He sends and speak on His behalf. He was commanded then not to marry, and his family and friends, among others, conspired against him. He was beaten and put in stocks, to which, when he was released, he was assaulted and nearly killed. He was imprisoned and suffered much for the call of God on his life, and his obedience to the call.

He was a timid, sensitive (lovingly), emotion, compassionate, and tender natured boy/man, and his character made him particularly capable of identifying himself with miseries, mistakes, and other needs of the people. He was not weak, but rather, he was a “feeler” who could sympathize and empathize with the needs of the people. He knew his task was great and occasionally complained and questioned God’s treatment of him, but always continued to exhort his fellow citizens to turn to God for cleansing and deliverance. He, luckily, belonged to the upper class and was well respected of the aristocratic princes. He was a statesman with a “world mind” as the text describes.

What Jeremiah had in common with Jesus

  • Jesus would be one coming to seek salvation of God’s people – Jeremiah was called to bring God’s people to repentance.
  • Jesus and Jeremiah alike were rejected by their own people.
  • Jesus lamented over His loved ones – as did Jeremiah.
  • Neither of them knew the joy/blessing of married life to help and encourage them forward, even in direct opposition from people.
  • Both knew and felt God’s Hand upon them and helping them in their ministry.
  • They both gave evidence of intimate fellowship with God.
  • Both were despised by “religious” leaders, and their teaching technique was similar.
  • They both despised formalism/ritualism: they loved the temple, but disliked the rituals.
  • They had a tender, yearning heart that wept over sinful people. Each was considered a failure at the end of their lives, but in later days, each also took their place among the victors. They were no instant success, but rather, a delayed success.

Matthew 16:13-14, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.”

Chapter 14 is especially important, because it shows the state of Judah in that time – grim

Chapter 14 is quite important, because it shows just one of the examples of the state of Judah, to which, Jeremiah makes an appeal unto God. It starts out with imagery on a severe drought in Judah, as all kinds of people were affected from it. People had difficulty obtaining enough water to keep themselves alive, animals dying because of disease, and many died because of not enough food.

Jeremiah pled on behalf of the people and confessed their sins; asking God to cease acting as if He were just an uninterested traveler passing by. He asked Him to help them, to which, the land is God’s after all, so why wouldn’t Yahweh want to help His People? God makes a stunning reply pointing out that He cannot just ignored the sins they have committed, and that Jeremiah should stop pleading, because nothing can save them now. God claims that He has tried enough and judgment is due to them, which will come by war, famine, disease, and disaster.

Jeremiah then tells God that the prophets have been assuring the people that such calamities will not overtake them, to which God replies that those prophets are false and will perish in shame as will all who believe their lies. The people hunger for prophecies of peace, and became very susceptible to such candy to their ear, but God has the final say in everything, and He will be sure that judgment is done. In lieu of this punishment, Jeremiah weeps publicly to show the people the sorrow he feels for them, because he has foreseen their terrible suffering. Jeremiah feels the need to plead once more with God on behalf of the people, and confesses their faults – asking God to be merciful and bring rain. He prays that God will not forsake His People, but rather, remember His Covenant with them, for there isn’t any other God they can call upon to help.

In this, it goes on to the start of chapter 15, where we see God’s reply that though Moses and Samuel had pleaded for the people in the past, the nation has passed the point where God could extend anymore mercy. Therefore, the false religion of Manasseh still controls the attitudes of the people, and the nation will end soon. God attributes His judgment in the past to not working for the people, and says there is no more pity left for them. Such a judgment is needed, since people resist!

The Lamentations

This collection of five poems expresses the sorrow of Jeremiah over the fall of Jerusalem to the armies of Babylon in 587 BC.

The portrait of Christ in the Lamentations is “The Man of Sorrows,” as we see in 3:1, “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.” Both are very similar, in that, Jesus lamented over His loved ones – as did Jeremiah. They also wept over the sins of the people. We can see similar laments of Jesus in Matthew 23:37-39 as he weeps (similarly to Jeremiah) over the people. The face of Mt. Calvary was Jeremiah’s grotto, where he wrote these poems and wept. Similar to his tears, blood and water flown from Jesus’ side nearby many more years later – the one greater than him.

Five poetic laments

  1. The dirge for the solitary City – a weeping widow (ch. 1). Spoke of the miseries of Jerusalem, and that it being once a busy city was now like a woman who had lost her husband or a princess that became a slave.
  2. The dirge for the sorrowing citizens – a veiled woman (ch. 2). Calamity has befallen Judah and turned her glory into darkness, so she is now veiled. Darkness is widespread as the author describes.
  3. The dirge of the sorrowful Prophet – the weeping Prophet (ch. 3). The Prophet compares Judah’s sufferings as if they were his own. Those sufferings are God’s righteous judgment, and he is like a starving man ready to die. However, even though God punishes, he still has trust in Him!
  4. The dirge of the shattered hope – the gold depreciated (ch. 4). Jerusalem was once great, now is in ruin – and we see so much royal things in the dead areas of the streets: broken. This symbolizes the downfall of the leaders, to which, what was once good in Jerusalem turned into darkness, and now it is gone.
  5. The dirge of the sorrowful appeal – the prayer for mercy and the humble suppliant (ch. 5). He pleads with God for mercy, as conditions in Judah are terrible. People can’t find food and need help, so the cry for mercy becomes louder. The people begin asking for Him back and for Him to restore their nation and give them the happiness they once enjoyed.

With all of the intense sin, war, famine, disease – it’s easy for one to be sorrowful if they want the best for people. There are so many dying folks, and many of whom die an early age in an undeserving death – all because people are sinful and attempt to operate wickedly for their own lusts. Lusts for power, money, and fame – and yet, poor people get the short end of the stick every time.

In the poorest of countries, people are under-developed, because greedy, power hungry leaders have ruled those nations for so long and oppressed those people. Other areas could be developed more, but fail because of bad leadership, sinful oppression, and other forms of wickedness roundabout. It’s time for a change, and if God’s People aren’t people of prayer, then change is not evident. We must all be prayer warriors, who are willing to pray and weep for His People all around the globe, especially in places that are poor with power-hungry greedy leaders.

The Evangelical Prophet, Isaiah

OVERALL:

  • His Book is known as The Book of Salvation, which is great, because there are so many references to Jesus and His Ministry, death and resurrection, etc.
  • He was known as The Evangelical Prophet.
  • He covered around 62 years, which was very significant.
  • The period covered was during the Reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
  • Other than Ahaz, there were some good rulers in that period, which made it easier for Isaiah to proclaim his message.
  • This Book of Isaiah pictures Man needing salvation (and what will occur as Man obtains it). Christ is pictured in this Book as the suffering redeemer, the King of Glory, and the real ruler.

Isaiah’s background

In the last 40 years of the 8th century BC, many great men spoke the words of God – as Amos and Hosea were preaching in the Northern Kingdom with Isaiah. Politically, world forces were battling for power (not much has ever changed, has it?). Uzziah and Jeroboam II were closing their prosperous reigns, which brought peace, plenty, and extravagance to the leading citizens. Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah followed Uzziah on the throne of Judah. Through these years, the statesman Prophet preached in Jerusalem.

Then, in 745 BC, Assyria came to life vigorously under the dynamic leadership of Tiglath Pileser. Damascus had fallen in 732 BC, to which, Israel was destroyed with the exception of the City of Samaria – which defied capture until 722 BC. Ahaz, the puppet king, became subject to Assyria with little real independence left. Sennacherib proved the painful thorn in the side of Judah. The government always fostered prosperity, which had a rich class and poor class with a normal chasm between the two. There were many problems, including corrupt government and laziness – as well as suffering of many people.

Isaiah was the son of Amoz, born in Jerusalem about 760 BC. He began ministry around 740 BC, to which, was the same year King Uzziah died. He preached for 40 years in his own city. He was married around 734 BC and fathered at least two sons. The greatest influence he had in his life was the Hand of God guiding him in preaching and prophesying. He had many educational advantages and was destined for greatness at a young age. He was a very well aware man of the region around him, and was influence by Amos, Hosea, and Micah. He died a martyr’s death during the reign of Manasseh around age 120.

Isaiah was called just after the death of King Uzziah, as he was in prayer and meditation. He had a vision of God on His Throne, robed in splendor and glory – to which, changed his life. It was as if, the text explains, that The Robe of the Lord filled the temple where he was meditating. He immediately saw himself as unclean, unworthy, desperately in need, and undone (of course, comparing such splendor and glory of God to yourself will lead you to such negative thoughts). The cry of repentance from this man brought healing and his eyes had beheld a dying, sinful, and needy world, to which he called for help.

He was transformed as the Seraphim came unto him with a live coal in hand, to which, he had taken off the altar of God, and laid it upon Isaiah’s mouth. Upon this, he said, “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine integrity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” With this, Isaiah was forever transformed, and said, “Here am I; send me!”

In his ministry, he was called by God to be a prophet, and he preached. He even counseled Kings. He was magnetic and/or charismatic, because of being with God, having clear faith, genuine love, and lips that felt the fire of God. He was a statesman Prophet, as a part of the administration of the nation. His wisdom and courage came from a faith in God. When the princes of Judah determined to break the alliance with Assyria to cast their lot with Egypt, it was him that cautioned against this suicidal policy. He counseled faith in God in the midst of troubles with the rulers, and hoped to help them rule well. He even prophesied the overthrow of the Assyrians. A neutral man, he would rebuke foolishness and predict things that would scare even the good rulers, because he was working for God, not Man. He had incredible spiritual depth that brought him to be adept in all sorts of ways that helped improve the life of His People!

Three divisions of the Book of Isaiah

There are three divisions in this Book, which are 1-39; 40-55; and 56-66. There could have been a couple of other people helping Isaiah on this Book. It is probably that Isaiah penned the first 39 himself, and his disciples did the remainder. I have heard of the possibility, although this is just probably an opinion, that there may have been more than one Isaiah – however, it seems that the scope of prophecy was directly related to Isaiah himself and there were just writing changes in the different divisions. There could be many theories, and we don’t need to be “lost in translation” about it. What’s important is how these divisions are markedly Isaiah and what he has to say in each.

The first section, 1-39, breathes the Spirit of judgment and warning characterizing the 39 books of the Old Testament; the second section, 40-55, breathes the Spirit of Grace and Peace characterizing the 27 books of the New Testament; and the third section, 56-66, proclaims the Messiah much more clearly than anywhere outside of the NT. The 53rd chapter has obtained the pseudonym, “The gospel according to Isaiah.” This is where Isaiah pictures the Suffering Savior.

The Ethiopian

We see in Acts 8:35 (and verses just prior), Philip had seen the Ethiopian reading the Book of Isaiah, and then he “began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” This is similar to us, because we are seen reading the Scripture, but we cannot fully understand it sometimes, so it helps to have a teacher/preacher to help us understand. Philip had an open door of opportunity to minister to the Ethiopian, and he took it and ministered well. This Ethiopian’s life was forever changed when Philip ministered to him – and that’s the way it is for us, whether we want to be taught or that we want to teach…God opens doors and we take those open doors and help people!

Jesus Christ in fulfillment of prophecy (from Isaiah)

We see Isaiah and John the Baptist on a similar note – where John the Baptist is fulfilling the prophecy that Isaiah told (Matthew 3:3), “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

  • Many places, Jesus spoke that He was fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah:
    • Matthew 4:14 (people that were in darkness would come to see great light);
    • 8:17 (Him bearing our sicknesses/infirmities);
    • 12:17 (He charged those whom he had cured that they should not talk about it);
    • (“by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive…”);
    • (people doubted the Lord, and therefore, the Jews are declared generally blind spiritually).
  • Jesus had also preached what Isaiah had said,
    • Matthew 15:7-8 (people come and honor with their lips, but their heart is far from Him);
    • Luke 4:17-19 (“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…”).

Isaiah 59 was a defining chapter for the generation of Jews

Isaiah 59 was important to note, because the society that the Jews were living in became rather ungodly of sorts. Unfortunately, the society that the people dwelt was headed for disaster, because people’s sins have cut them off with God, and He is the only one who can save them. They filled the land with treachery, lies, violence, etc. Because of the corruption of the courts, where is the justice? Nowhere! Wickedness grows and good people are punished – and bad people are rewarded. As people embrace evil, the good suffer. Sin is covered, and the society deteriorates.

The Prophet joins with the people in their confession of sin, to which, the people want to see the end of the oppression and injustice. However, moral darkness prevailed, and therefore, they eventually began turning away from God even more and developed a false way of life (dishonest and humiliatingly prideful). God sees this and wants to intervene, and therefore, in His purity and justice, He acts against such sinners, and people worldwide begin to acknowledge Him. Those who repented began a new relationship with the Father, and become His true people to enjoy such spiritual blessings of His covenant.

This is very important as this compares very similarly to our world over time, even today, is that people have gone from loving God and celebrating Him everywhere to fully sinful, lustful, and prideful people. God tries His best to rescue them back, and is successful some or most of the time. He continues to draw people back to His good Will, and yet, more and more stray. It’s sad but true!

The man of double portion: Elisha the prophet

Ahab gets his way by murder and obtains Naboth’s vineyard, which brought the occasion for Elijah’s ninth and tenth miracle. There is more Syrian conflict, and Jehoshaphat desires to know God’s Will, false prophets arise, and Micaiah’s true prophecy of Israel’s defeat is heard. The death of Ahab is seen as well as the fulfilling of prophecy of the death of Jezebel, and the accession of King Ahaziah to the throne of Israel.

Jehoshaphat is made fourth King of Judah and reigns for 25 years as the second good King of Judah. Moab rebels against Israel after the death of Ahab, and Ahaziah, the King of Israel, meets with an accident. King Ahaziah takes a bad fall, is injured, and then he gets seriously sick. He sent messengers and said for them to “Go, inquire of ‘Baal-zebub,” the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.”

The Angel of the Lord speaks to Elijah and tells him to meet the messengers and predict the death of Ahaziah because of this great sin…the sin was that “he sought advice from a pagan god and not from God Jehovah.” This is the occasion for the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth miracle of Elijah. The prediction of the King of Israel’s death, fire from Heaven, and the death of 102 men.

Elisha was called from God as we see in 1 Kings 19:16-17 – to which, Elisha would be anointed as a prophet in his room (when Jehu is anointed as king over Israel), and that who escapes from the sword of Jehu then Elisha will slay. As it moves forward to verses 19-21, Elijah casts his mantle upon Elisha, and then Elisha ran after him wanting to pray for him and follow him. Elijah showed his willingness to succeed Elijah by killing his oxen and using them as a farewell dinner for his family and friends.

Elisha was tested three times as Elijah suggests he tarry at certain places while Elijah does the Lord’s work in a different place. Elisha was told to tarry at Gilgal while he (Elijah) goes to Bethel for the Lord. After that, he told Elisha to tarry at Bethel while he goes to Jericho for the Lord. Again, Elisha told to tarry at Jericho while he goes to Jordan.

Each time, Elisha’s answer was, “as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” Elisha knew that the Lord would soon take away Elijah, however, in each of the above cities, Elisha is pestered by the “sons of the prophets” concerning Elijah’s leave. Each time, Elisha answers them, “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”

Elijah promised a “double-portion” of his spirit to Elisha if he sees him when he leaves. They cross the Jordan, causing the fifteenth miracle of Elijah as he swings his mantle over the waters to divide them. Elijah then tells Elisha that what he had asked is a hard thing.

Elisha received a double portion of what Elijah had promised, which was the fulfilling of another prophecy of Elijah’s. Of course, a double portion is a double blessing. Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit so he would be doubly blessed in life and ministry. It seems, as I have looked at the lessons, Elisha’s miracles are twice that of Elijah’s (exactly twice the amount).

The story is in 2 Kings 2:11-12, “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.” When Elijah was whisked away supernaturally, Elisha knew that, in this one man, Israel doesn’t have him anymore either. However, he soon had a clear proof of the double-portion of the power imputed upon him, because soon he began miracles – as he felt the mantle placed upon him.

The miracles done by Elisha

  1. First miracle, using the mantle that Elijah gave him, he took a stride toward the Jordan and smote the waters saying, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” – to which, the waters part and he walked over on dry land. Maybe he was testing his power…?
  2. Second miracle, healing of the waters as we see in 2 Kings 2:19-22, “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” The waters were bitter and terrible, and he made it better and healthier to drink. This was great and helpful to the people.
  3. Third miracle, bears from the woods and irreverence cursed. Little children came out of the city and mocked Elisha, saying, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” Two she bears came out of the woods and tore up 42 children.
  4. Fourth miracle involved waters filling the ditches without rain. This miracle came about from the influence of a minstrel, who played, and then the hand of the Lord came upon him.
  5. Fifth miracle involved the defeat of the Moabites. It was odd to see the Moabite King’s sacrifice, which was his eldest son, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall.
  6. Sixth miracle was an optical illusion, where the enemy saw the water, the sun shone upon it in the early morning, and it appeared unto them as blood.
  7. Seventh miracle, increase of the widow’s oil – this is the curse of oil that failed not. Elisha commanded the widow and her sons to gather up pots and pans (vessels), and then to go and sell the oil – afterward, paying the debt to be able to live with thee and thy children on the rest of the funds.
  8. Eighth miracle involved healing the “great woman” of Shunem of her barrenness, to which, she miraculously bore a child. This was great, and not the only time that God had done this. God had also healed many of their barrenness, so this scene shows His everlasting faithfulness.
  9. Ninth miracle, resurrection of the boy. The child of the woman of Shunem became very ill, and she sought Elisha – to which, Elisha came and lay upon the child – and the child was healed after sneezing seven times. It was great to see the Lord’s faithfulness in healing people, especially that were near death – what a blessing!
  10. Tenth miracle, pottage was healed. The sons of the prophets were having difficulty as there was drought in the land. They gathered herbs in the field and a wild vine was mixed with the herbs and the pottage became noxious, as if it were death in the pot.
  11. Eleventh miracle, bread was multiplied for 100 men – which was evident, once again, of the Lord’s provision for His People. (Just wait till later, when we see Jesus multiplying food for thousands of people.)
  12. Twelfth miracle, leprosy of Naaman healed. The strange act of dipping in the dirty river of Jordan cleansed the leper when he was obedient. That’s how you know it’s a God thing, when you try to make something clean with something that doesn’t appear to be clean (for we know faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1).
  13. Thirteenth miracle, discernment of Gehazi’s disobedience, to which, Naaman offered up riches to Elisha again after his healing. Gehazi disobeyed and accepted them to heap them upon himself. It’s no wonder a servant would become prideful, as he is in the presence of a great man like Elisha – but Gehazi needed humbling to be able to work beside Elisha further.
  14. Fourteenth miracle, leprosy of Naaman given to Gehazi. Gehazi was humbled for his pride, it seems, and reaped what he sowed.
  15. Fifteenth miracle, making iron to swim. The sons of the prophets wanted to make a larger place to live, and they were cutting wood, when the ax head flew off and fell into the water. The one using the ax said, “alas Master! For it was borrowed.” Elisha wondered where it went, so then he cut a stick and threw it into the water – where the iron ax head swam to them so much that they could retrieve it.
  16. Sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth miracles, Elisha is used by God to reveal war secrets, They said Elisha, Israel’s prophet, has knowledge of secrets that the King talked about in his bed chamber. Of course, with this in mind, they must be careful not to divulge them to the enemies – because doing so would bring despair.
  17. (See above)
  18. (See above)
  19. Nineteenth miracle, the eyes of Elisha’s servant are opened. The enemy sought to destroy Elisha, and they sent horsemen and chariots and encamped around where they thought Elisha and his servant were camped. In the morning, the servant arose to see the encampment and the servant wondered what to do. He prayed for that his servant’s eyes be opened, and then the Lord performed it through Elisha. His eyes opened and he saw a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire roundabout – as we see in Scripture.
  20. Twentieth miracle involved the blinding of the Syrian army – which helped avoid war and other issues of wars.
  21. Twenty-first miracle was the capturing of the whole Syrian army – to which, had completely disabled them from hurting His People.
  22. Twenty-second miracle was healing the Syrian army of blindness – which, I guess was a lesson to them not to bug His People.
  23. Twenty-third miracle involved Elisha having knowledge before the Kings act. We see Elisha using the gifts of knowledge and discernment given to him by God. God works miraculously through His People always, and Elisha was no different. He used the gifts of the Spirit well!
  24. Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth miracles involved the miraculous utterances. The evil kings were trying their best to dispose of Elisha, and finally the messenger of the King comes to get Elisha with plans of executing him. There was Elisha…prophesying! He uttered a foretelling of sufficient food for everybody in Samaria soon. Four lepers throw themselves upon the mercy of the Syrians. At twilight, they came into the camp and there was no man. The Lord caused the Syrians to hear the noise of the chariots and horses and the noise of a great company. They had fled in great fear because of it. The lepers did eat and drink, as well as partake of all the things and then went out to hide their treasures.
  25. (See above)
  26. Twenty-sixth miracle, the confusion of the Syrians. The lepers report to the King, and an investigation is made and is true. The Syrians have fled, leaving their riches behind. Elisha’s prophecy of plenty was fulfilled.
  27. Twenty-seventh miracle, involved 7 years of famine. Elisha talks with the “great woman” whose son was resurrected, and he tells her there is going to be a seven-year famine. He warns them to leave so they go and sojourn in the land of the Philistines for 7 years. During the 7 year leave, people took her land, so then she returns to ask the king that her land be returned unto her. Gehazi testifies to the king of the great works of Elisha, and therefore, the king assigned an officer to her so she would be returned to her land.
  28. Twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth miracles – these were more miraculous utterances. They again were gifts given by God, which were revelation and knowledge. We see also the weeping side of the Elisha as he pronounces death upon a Syrian who plots evil against Israel.
  29. (See above)
  30. (See above)
  31. Thirty-first miracle involved the anointing of Jehu by one of Elisha’s children, the sons of the prophets. Jehu comes to the Kingdom ad King of Israel and reigns for 28 years. Elisha calls one of the children to get read and take a box of oil to Ramoth-Gilead. He is told to find Jehu and take him to the inner chamber and pour the oil on to his head and speak over him an anointing as the King over Israel. There was also inclusion into the prophecy of death for Jezebel and prediction that the house of Ahab be no more. Jehu slays Jehoram, King of Israel.
  32. Thirty-second miracle involved something done upon his death. Joash the King of Israel came down and wept upon him. Soon, Elisha said to him to take bow and arrow (Elisha helped him), then open the window eastward, and then to shoot. The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria shall smite the Syrian in Aphek till consumed. Then he said to take the arrow and smite upon the ground. When this occurred, Elisha died, and they buried him, and then the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. As they were burying, they cast a man into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when that man touched the bones of Elisha – he was revived and stood up!

Other interesting stories

Elisha enjoys such hospitality from the “great woman” of Shunem. She wanted him to come and eat, and told her husband that she thinks Elisha is truly a holy man of God, to which, she noted him passing by often, so she had asked her husband to build a little chamber on the wall. She placed a bed, table, stool, and candlestick there (which came to be the Prophet’s Chamber). One day, Elisha came by to stop and rest, traveling with his servant Gehazi, and asked Gehazi to call for the Shunammite woman. So, she came and stood before him, so he asked to do something for her because of her hospitality. She did not require anything, though. Gehazi noticed she didn’t have children, so Elisha granted a miracle that her barrenness would be healed. Later, that child became very ill, and she sought Elisha – to which, Elisha came and lay upon the child – and the child was healed after sneezing seven times.

Elisha in the New Testament is “Eliseus,” and it is found in Luke 4:27, “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”

The death of Elisha

His death is chronicled in 2 Kings 13:14-21, where he had fallen sick. Joash the King of Israel came down and wept upon him. Soon, Elisha said to him to take bow and arrow (Elisha helped him), then open the window eastward, and then to shoot. The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria shall smite the Syrian in Aphek till consumed. Then he said to take the arrow and smite upon the ground. When this occurred, Elisha died, and they buried him, and then the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. As they were burying, they cast a man into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when that man touched the bones of Elisha – he was revived and stood up!

The man wise enough to stand up to Jezebel and godly enough to make many miracles | Elijah the prophet

After the death of Samuel, the newly formed kingdom of Israel suffered severely by the Philistines. The greatest invasion resulted in the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan – to which, David came to the throne of the tribe of Judah and finally was elevated to King over all Israel. However, in 931 BC, a division came, to which, Rehoboam was left with the smaller of the two kingdoms. In the North, Jeroboam was given the larger portion, and led the people into idolatry and pagan worship.

After 50 years of disaster and turmoil, we see Omri come to the head of the government to stop the anarchy, conquer Moab, establish a monarchy, build Samaria, and create a treaty with Syria. Ahab had become the successor to Omri. The coming of Jezebel meant more idolatry, especially in Baal worship. To please the strong-willed Jezebel, Ahab built in Samaria a temple for Baal worship, Asherah worship, and Phoenician worship.

Elijah’s name meant “Like God,” and he was given the task to be a Prophet during the era of Baal worship. This worship is of “mere power” or the worship of evil in general. In later days, the Jews designated this “Tyrian deity” the prince of devils. He also dealt with severe immorality, to which, the prophets of Yahweh were persecuted and killed. Many hid in caves for their own safety.

Jezebel then imported priests and prophets to do her bidding, to which, Elijah faced some of the darkest hours of his life. Anyway, Elijah was born and grew up in Gilead on the east of Jordan, to which, he was a Tishbite. He was described as a hairy man and one that wore a leather girdle. The New Testament states that Elijah (or Elias) was a man subject to like passions as we are even today.

Miracles done by Elijah

  1. First miracle, which appears at the court of Ahab, which announces the long drought would be broken only by God’s Word through the prophet. This was good, because it avoided any famine or furthering of famine conditions.
  2. Second miracle, he is fed by the ravens twice a day at the Brook Cherith. God intended that Elijah stay alive and be provided for, and just as the birds were provided for, the birds – by God – provided for him.
  3. Third miracle: God uses Elijah to multiply meal and oil daily. After seeing the Lord’s provision for him, he knew that God would provide for others, so God uses him to multiply for provisions.
  4. Fourth miracle, God uses him to restore the widow’s son to life. She calls Elijah a man of God. Just as Elijah did, later Elisha does a similar miracle – how glorious to see Elisha follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.
  5. Fifth miracle, on Mount Carmel there is a test as to whose God is God…to which, God answers by fire; the prophets of “Baal” are killed and rain comes in to answer Elijah’s prayer. Elijah hated idolatry, and was glad that much of it was rid of here.
  6. Sixth and Seventh miracles, we see rain and a 30 mile foot race is done, where Elijah outruns King Ahab who is driving his chariot. Elijah is equipped by the power of God, and will run the race as God empowers him!
  7. (The seventh is explained just above with sixth.)
  8. Eighth miracle, we learn of the “Juniper tree” experience, which the Juniper tree is well known of the cedar family. Elijah asks that he might die, and an Angel supernaturally strengthens him. Two times the Angel speaks to him and tells him to arise and eat, and finally the Angel speaks to him, “the journey is too great for thee.” Elijah arises and eats for the second time, and then “he went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the Mount of God.” Through this experience, he is challenged by God to return to anoint Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha.
  9. Ninth miracle, Elijah announces doom on Ahab and wicked Jezebel. Once again, Elijah sought to take care of idolatrous ways, and seeking an end to Baal.
  10. Tenth miracle, Elijah promises respite to Ahab, and God will delay punishment to the days of his son.
  11. Eleventh miracle, this is the prophecy of Elijah that pertained to the sickness and death of Jehoram.
  12. Twelfth miracle, this is the prediction or prophecy of death, the death of King Ahaziah.
  13. Thirteenth and Fourteenth miracle, this is the prophecy concerning King Ahaziah, who inquired of another god and Elijah stopped the messengers on their way to ask of their god. Elijah told them there was a God in Israel and because they found out info of the god Ekron, the King would die. They pushed in on Elijah and it resulted in fire from Heaven, which was the death of 102 men.
  14. (The fourteenth is explained just above with thirteenth.)
  15. Fifteenth miracle, we see that this is the miracle of the parting of the River Jordan as Elisha follows Elijah and the translation of Elijah is near. Elijah inquired of Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee” – to which, Elisha answers, “let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” Elijah promises this shall come as long as “if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.”
  16. Sixteenth miracle, this is the miracle of imparting a double portion of his own spirit upon Elisha. Elijah spends many quiet years teaching young men, especially Elisha, who would carry on the prophetic work. He is gloriously translated while Elisha looks on and receives the commission to continue the great work.

Elijah’s character

Elijah was a sturdy, virile, daring man from the wilds of Gilead. He had an iron constitution, as the text explains, an austere spirit, majestic somehow, flaming indignation, consuming zeal, and courageous nature which set him forth as a man of romance and mystery. He was strong and yet weak; a zeal so limitless with energy. He had a tremendous grip on the ways of God and he had unusual power in prayer. He hated false religions, among other idolatries. He was unselfish, merciless, and cruel in his treatment of the Baal prophets. He was on fire for God doing His Will! Overall, he was a man of prevailing prayer, a man of faith, and one of the most dramatic appearances and exits. It is said of him, “he went through history like a meteor.”

Jesus spoke of Elijah

Jesus speaks of Elijah (Elias) in Luke 4:25, “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land.” He speaks this about Elijah after He talks about healing and other activities to do in that area that He did in another area, and He says that, “no prophet is accepted in his own country.” Palestine was filled with poor people even in times of plenty, it seemed, and therefore, there must have been large numbers of hungry people during the famine. He said that nobody sent Elijah to do miracles over there, so why should He Himself be sent or go Himself to relieve the famine? That’s what He questions in that short explanation.

The point in this Scripture is that many people had compared Jesus to Elijah and vice-versa, because of all the miracles both had conducted. They frequently referred back to Elijah and would generalize that, for example, “if this happens…why you (Jesus) don’t do as Elijah did?” Jesus was calling them out in this questioning, because He knew that He was being faithful to the Will of God, and wanted them to realize that He doesn’t want to continue to be compared to Elijah – but that, He is doing miracles as God Wills them to be done. He reflects the Father in every way and does what He sees the Father doing; therefore, His ways are perfect. However, all this explanation did was anger the people there that He was instructed, and they wanted Him thrown out.

Comparing Elijah with John the Baptist

The answer for this is recorded in Luke 1:5-7; 15-17: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

As we see here, John the Baptist is similar to Elisha, in that; he received the spirit and power of Elijah, which would be fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah shall come again. The Jews expected Elijah as the forerunner of the Messiah. John showed the spirit of Elijah in his clothing, in his life in general, and in his messages of repentance.

Elijah was a sign of the coming of the Lord

We see in Malachi 4:5 a prophecy, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Elijah is part of the last prophecy in the Old Testament, which concerns the return of Elijah the prophet to Earth, from Heaven, shortly before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. During this occurrence, there will be a great revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh and all of Israel will be saved because of the ministry of the “Two Witnesses.” It seems the Scripture is worded in a way that Elijah would be one of the “Two Witnesses” mentioned in Revelation 11:2-12. Some believe the second witness is Enoch, because both Enoch and Elijah did not see natural death. Some point to Moses.

We see Elijah and Moses together in Scripture during the transfiguration of Christ to Peter, James, and John his brother on the high mountain. Here is a snippet: “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

Elijah and Jesus Christ compared

ElijahJesus Christ
Elijah called on God’s People to repent during a period of great unfaithfulness (1 Kings 19:14-18)Jesus announced the Kingdom of God that had come at the exact time God prepared it to do so (Mark 1:15)
Ravens were sent to care for Elijah in the desert, and an angel fed him during a 40 day journey in the wilderness (1 Kings 17:6; 19:3-8)Angels took care of Jesus while He was on a 40 day fast in the desert (Matthew 4:2; 4:11; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2)
Elijah raised from the dead a widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24)Jesus raised from the dead a widow’s son in Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
Elijah was able to call down fire from Heaven to rain down upon his enemies (2 Kings 1:12)Jesus refused for His disciples to call fire from Heaven to rain down upon His enemies (Luke 9:52-56)
Elijah had one disciple, Elisha, who left his oxen to follow Elijah (1 Kings 19:19-21)Jesus called 12 disciples, who left their lives at home and served and followed Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22)

Why Jesus Christ is God | Bible verses

There are many religions, cults, and other organizations (including books and other media) that say that Jesus Christ is not God, but they do not provide enough credible evidence. Apparently, about 30% of US Christian people say that Jesus is not God. However, we can, as Christians, prove that Jesus Christ is God, and the Bible along with historical/archaeological finds can help.

Jesus Christ is the Word and created the earth:

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.

John 20:28 – And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (This references back to when God first said that He is called “I AM” in Exodus 3:14.

Jesus was to come upon the earth as an inhabitant inside of a man vessel, but still be fully God:

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Other info:

Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1 – Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:8 – But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Jesus receives worship in the following verses, but did not tell anyone not to worship Him: Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38

If He were not God, the sacrifice for sins would not be possible (1 John 2:2). Only God could take on the sins of the entire world (2 Corinthians 5:21).