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.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jul 11, 2021
If you’re like me, the first part of the Old Testament is pretty smooth sailing on the comprehension side of things – reading a narrative is simple enough. But, after Chronicles it gets a little wild – because prophecy and poetry is pretty tough and it’s not easy to know where we are in the storyline. The Chronological plan will help us because it makes us read the prophets alongside the kings. Here’s a handy timeline to help you situate all of the kings and prophets in your head. This week, we’re in Isaiah, Amos, and Micah. Two are prophesying against Judah and one against Israel.
As you read, it will help to remember two things about the prophets: (1) the prophets are primarily concerned about the people’s faithfulness to Mosaic covenant, and because of this (2) the prophets usually hold the kings and the people accountable by proclaiming judgment (forthtelling) rather than “predicting the future” (foretelling). Prophets definitely look to the future, but more often than not, they’re taking the people to task for their idolatry and unfaithfulness. As we think about applying these to our own lives, we’ll want to remember that God is dealing with his covenant people, so the most consistent application for our time will be to God’s new covenant people – individual believers and the church as a whole.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jul 4, 2021
As we read this week, we’re dealing with prophets and kings. Let me remind us again about these two roles within the biblical storyline. They’re both mentioned in Deuteronomy. A king must not acquire many horses or wives or money so that his heart is not turned away from trusting the Lord. He must keep a copy of the law and read it so that he learns to fear the Lord (Dt. 17:14-20). As for prophets, they are truly representing God when they speak in the name of the Lord and their word comes to pass (Dt. 18:22). So, prophets call kings back to covenant faithfulness and deliver oracles of judgment from Yahweh. That’s what we’ll see in our reading this week. The Word of the Lord stands forever.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jun 27, 2021
We’re getting into the crazy kings after the kingdom divides. As you read this week, pay attention to where the kings reign: Israel’s 10 tribes in the north or Judah’s one tribe in the south (remember, the Levites are a tribe but don’t have land and usually do their own thing – though they’re typically connected with Judah). It’s important to remember that the standard by which the kings are judged is the blessings/curses of covenant faithfulness in Deuteronomy 28 and the covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7 where the Lord still disciplines the kings for their iniquity. It’s pretty amazing when you read all the heinous rebellion of these chapters that the Lord is so abundantly patient with his people –including us. We just have the benefit of the fuller picture where the fullness of God’s justice was poured out on Christ at the cross so that we may have peace with God and one another.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jun 20, 2021
It seems like we’re all over the place in our readings this week. We’re still gleaning from Solomon, but we’re beginning to look at Solomon’s decline and Israel’s quick decline into two kingdoms. But, there’s much to learn this week about our motives – and where we can find help when they’re out of line.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2021
We’ll come to another significant moment with the construction and completion of the Temple this week. I’m always struck how at almost every significant moment in Israel’s history, there’s space created to remember God’s faithfulness up to that point. When God’s relation to his people is about to “change” and no one can really predict what’s going to happen next – the people of God trust the character of the God who’s brought them thus far (if that’s not instructive for our current cultural moment as the church, then I don’t know what is).
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun Jun 6, 2021
I once heard someone compare passages in the Bible to “load-bearing” beams in a house. Some passages hold the full weight of part of Scripture and deep theological truths (like Romans 8, for example). But other texts are like the floor boards – very practical but can’t hold up under much weight (though an equally significant part of the house!). I submit to you that Proverbs are like those floor boards. Essential for moving about the house, as long as the weight is evenly distributed. So, let’s listen well to a father of the faith’s instruction so that we may learn how to move around the household of faith. I’ll try to pick a verse or two each day to help us think along the biblical storyline about how that verse might apply to followers of Jesus.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun May 30, 2021
We turn our full attention to Solomon. We’ll read how his desire for wisdom granted, even while simultaneously sowing the seeds of his destruction. The Psalms will provide additional color to the narrative portions. A few Proverbs will show us the depth and practicality of Solomon’s wisdom.
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun May 23, 2021
We’re spending one more week with David and his Mighty Men before we make the royal transition to Solomon. We’ll see David’s final acts as King – both good and bad – and hear his reflections in Psalms. I’m struck by David’s persistent God-centered focus and his reverent awe of the Lord’s splendor. At the beginning of his reign, Solomon gets it, too: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Indeed. The church itself is now God’s building – built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:19-20).
Posted in Bible Reading Forecasts | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Sun May 16, 2021
We’ve got a few dark clouds rolling in this week, but expect to see a shaft of light break through the clouds every now and then.