The Prophets are often divided between the Major and Minor Prophets. What is the difference between the two? Another way of looking at the prophets involves looking at them before and after the fall of Judah. This morning, we consider Creation in some of the pre-exilic prophets.
What would you say was the general responsibility of the Old Testament prophet? (Bring people back to God.) Which God were they trying to magnify and glorify? Since they were servants of Jehovah, what would you guess those prophets would teach about Creation?
Isaiah ministered during the reigns of Jotham, Uzziah, Ahaz and Hezekiah. When, approximately, did David die? (1000 A.D. [1015 A.D.]) According to Usher, Isaiah began to minister about 250 years later – a considerable time later. His ministry had a dramatic change in chapter 6 – what did he see? (Christ and angels). What is the first scripture where angels are called seraphim? Other than angels, arch-angels and demons, what is the only other term used to describe angels? Where do we find the first reference to cherubims? Seraphims and cherubims both have a special personal connection to the Lord. Could there be a connection between Isaiah 6 and Genesis 3?
Where do we find the first promise of the coming Messiah, and what does it specifically say? (Genesis 3:15.) What does Isaiah 7:14 say, and could it have reference to the first prophesy? If it does, what does it testify to the authenticity of the Creation account and to the Fall? How does Isaiah 9:6-7 relate to 7:14? What is meant that the “increase of his government and peace there shall be no end”? By what right can this “son,” this “mighty God,” lay claim to the government of Creation? Who is the primary rival to the Son for the government of Creation? Where do we first learn of his attack upon that creation? Was Genesis 3 the first time that Lucifer tried to usurp the authority of the Creator? (Isaiah 14:12-15). Does this scripture in any way hurt the credibility of the early chapters of Genesis?
The Book of Isaiah basically divides at chapter 40, with the first half being primarily historical and the second half being more didactic. Isaiah 40:6-8 refers to two things; what are they? (The Word of God and the curse.) What do verses 12-13 suggest about God? What do verses 21-23 teach about God? What do verses 25-26 declared about the Lord? In the light of verse 28 could we be sure that Isaiah was a Creationist? Read Isaiah 42:5-6, remembering that the word “create” (bara) is never used except in reference to God. What would you guess is the Hebrew word used in Isaiah 43:1 and 7? Does the fact that Isaiah 44:24 doesn’t use the word “bara” diminish the impact of the Lord’s creation? Where does the Bible say that Elohim created light? Where does the Bible say that Elohim created (“bara”) the night? (Isaiah 45:7.) What does Isaiah 45:8-12 teach about the creation?
What is the so-called gap theory? The most frequently cited proof for gap theory is Isaiah 45:18. First, what does this verse say about creation? What is the primary message of the verse? (God didn’t create the universe without a purpose.) If there is no reason to interpret this as a gap in creation there is no reason to do so.
What does God say in Isaiah 48:13? Should we be surprised if someone who professed Creation also professed belief that there was an actual world-wide flood (Isaiah 54:9)? Should we be surprised if the Creator said that He would create again (Isaiah 65:17-18; 66:22)?
What difference is there between believing that a stick or a stone made man or believing that we are the result of eons of time spent evolving from the explosion of some hydrogen gas? Jeremiah’s first reference to creation is, in fact, an indictment against evolution (Jeremiah 2:26-27). We might has well hope for salvation through evolution as for creation through evolution (Jeremiah 3:23). Some say that Jeremiah 4:23-28 supports the gap theory. What does it clearly teach? If this taught the gap, then the pre-gap world would have been Edenic. What is Jeremiah 4 actually teaching? (Judgment on Judah is coming.)
From Jeremiah 10:10-13 would you say that Jeremiah was a Creationist, an evolutionist or an idolater? Does Jeremiah 23:24 teach a pantheistic evolution of some kind? What does Jeremiah 31:35-37 teach about Jehovah? Judging from Jeremiah 32:17 would you say that Jeremiah was an evolutionist? How is Jehovah the God of all flesh (Jeremiah 32:27)?
Some of the “Minor” Prophets.
Compare Hosea 2:18 and Genesis 1:30 and what does that suggest? (Same classification system.) What does Hosea 8:14 teach about Jehovah?
If the Garden of Eden had never existed could we trust a “prophet of God” who referred to it as if it did exist? Joel 2:3. Joel prophesies a great many spectacular cosmic events, which would be meaningless, if God didn’t actually control the cosmos (2:10, 30-31; 3:15, 18).
From Amos 4:13 would you say that Amos was a Creationist? When the Bible, as in Amos 5:8, says that God created the constellations as well as the stars, what does that teach us? Look at Amos 9:6.
How does the Book of Jonah teach the Creatorship of Jonah’s God? The liberals have a hard time with Jonah’s story, so many of them like to deny his existence. To whom would you guess that II Kings 14:25 refers? Who sent the wind that just about destroyed Jonah’s ship? Could Satan have done that? What was Jonah’s testimony of God in Jonah 1:9? How many times does this book say that God directly controlled that fish (1:17, 2:10)? How likely would the events surrounding Jonah’s gourd be coincidental? What does that gourd testify about God?
How does Micah 5:2 give evidence toward creation? How does Micah 5:6 give credibility to the Book of Genesis?
The general purpose of God’s prophets was to bring Israel back to Jehovah.
And that meant that they were to return to a faith in the Creator. That is precisely what is needed today. We still desperately need the ministry of God’s prophets – past and present.