Seeing Jesus in the Prophets

I've reviewed Nancy Guthrie's latest book The Word of The Lord: Seeing Jesus in the Prophets over at Books at a Glance. Here is a teaser: If you haven’t read anything by Nancy Guthrie yet, you are really missing out. Her Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series is a gift to the church. I don’t know how many times women have asked me about finding a good resource for starting a Bible study. It can be intimidating to lGuthrie Word of Lord pic_1409018639ead a Bible study, and there are many men and women who are looking for help. Just handing someone a few commentaries and leaving her on her own to come up with a lesson and questions for discussion can often discourage a gal from even trying. And yet people who are serious about the Word of God and who want to grow in their knowledge of Scripture are insulted by the countless fluff studies out there that seem to stray way off course from the meaning of the text. The insecurities really seem to flair when it comes to teaching the Old Testament. In her series, Nancy Guthrie is able to paint the big picture of redemption for us while we study the details. Her last book in the series, The Word of the Lord, tackles what may be the most intimidating genre in Scripture: the Prophetic Books. Guthrie acknowledges and empathizes with this right from the start: “The Prophetic Books of the Old Testament are the books of the Bible I have understood the least and avoided the most” (11). She then reasons that if all Scripture is profitable for a godly life, and it is (2 Tim. 3:16-17), then every section is important – even the prophets. Overview Why are the Prophetic Books so intimidating? Guthrie addresses this in her great “Introduction to the Prophets” chapter to her book. First, she lays out the role of the prophet as a spokesperson for God. She teaches the specifics of their role, who they were, and how the Prophetic Books are God’s message for us still today. Then Guthrie suggests why they seem so daunting. We live in a much different culture from Old Testament times. And the average person frankly does not have adequate knowledge of the history and geography of God’s people, so we do not see the connections of how these stories fit together. Since the books of the prophets are not in chronological order, this can sometimes add to our confusion. And then there’s the language. Sometimes we just don’t follow what’s going on with all the “repetitive oracles.” This all makes it difficult to understand the relevance of the Prophetic Books to us now. But Guthrie helps us to overcome these obstacles by breaking it down for the reader. She provides helpful maps, highlights the connections, and points out the main themes in every Prophetic Book: sin, judgment, and hope. And these are themes on which every reader can relate!   Jesus in the Prophets Beyond simple comprehension, the author pledges to point us to “the Person in the prophets we must see.” She successfully delivers on this pledge in every chapter. But Guthrie gives us a delightful preview in the Introduction that really sums up her book well: In Jonah we’ll see by contrast the compassion of Jesus, who ran toward those under judgment rather than away from them. In Hosea we’ll see Jesus as our faithful bridegroom, who paid the price of his own blood to redeem us, his unfaithful bride, from our slavery to sin. In Micah we’ll see the humble justice and mercy of Jesus as the one whose life and death answers Micah’s difficult question: “What does the Lord require?” (6:8). In Isaiah we’ll see Jesus as the divine King seated on the throne Isaiah saw the year King Uzziah died, as the suffering servant who will be punished in place of his people, and as the coming conqueror who will put an end to evil.   Read More