Sunday School - Major Prophets
Welcome back to our Sunday School lesson on My Bible: Can I Trust It?
So far, we covered The Books of the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy), The books of History (Joshua through Esther), The books of Poetry (Job through Song of Solomon). Now we enter the section called the books of Prophecy, which covers Isaiah to Malachi. The books of prophecy can be divided into two sections, the major and minor prophets. The major prophets include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The minor prophets include Hosea through Malachi In this lesson we’ll do a brief survey of Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Isaiah is often called “the prophet of the Messiah” since he had more to say about the Messiah than any other prophet did. Also, he is called the evangelical prophet, because of chapter 53, which is the clearest presentation of the gospel in the Old Testament. With 66 chapters, Isaiah has more chapters than any Old Testament book except Psalms.
The book of Isaiah can be nicely divided into 2 parts and also shares a two-fold message: 1) condemnation (chapters 1-39) and consolation (chapters 40-66). In the first part, Isaiah magnifies the sin of Judah and pronounces God’s judgment on them. In the second part, Isaiah then consoles Judah with a message of future salvation, rescue, and restoration.
A basic theme of Isaiah is that “salvation” is in the Lord. In fact, the word “salvation” appears more in Isaiah (26 times) than any other book of prophecy.
A familiar key verse in Isaiah is 9:6-7: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
BIG Challenge: Using a Bible concordance, find and read each of the 27 references of salvation in the book of Isaiah. Then answer this question: Which descriptors stand out to you regarding God's salvation? For example: God's salvation is forever (Is 51:6).
Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet” because he wept for his fellow Israelites. He also gave more information on Israel than any other prophet. He received his call from God when he was a youth (1:6) and proclaimed that the Jews should surrender to Babylon. Because of his message of condemnation, Jeremiah was one of Judah’s most unpopular prophets. In fact, the Jewish leaders made several attempts to take his life; they threw him into a cistern, put him in stocks, and later imprisoned him. Nevertheless, Jeremiah remained true to God in spite of all his sufferings. Also, Jeremiah lived to see his people taken captive by the Babylonians. In the book of Jeremiah, God is portrayed as patient and holy. God had delayed his judgement on Judah and His warning was clear: Judah’s time of repentance would soon expire.
Key verses in Jeremiah are:
 References used: Alex Bauman, My Bible: Can I Trust it? Regular Baptist Press Press, 2011, and also Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980).