01 Introduction to the Prophets

by | Dec 2, 2020 | 01 Podcasts, Ezekiel

The first of three plenary addresses given by Dr. Erika Moore during the 2009 Women in the Word Workshop, October 2009. Dr. Erika Moore is a Professor of Old Testament and Academic Dean at Trinity School for Ministry. She is also one of my favorite teachers, especially when she teaches on the Old Testament.

I am grateful to link to a small portion of her work here on Wednesday in the Word. The following notes are from her handout.

Three reasons why people don’t read the prophets:

  1. They are weird.
  2. They are confusing.
  3. They all sound alike.
  • “The prophets are weird and confusing, and they all sound alike” (Philip Yancey, The Bible Jesus Read, pg. 171)
  • “The prophets have a queer way of speaking. – Martin Luther

Who where the prophets?

  1. Prophets were successors to Moses (Deuteronomy 18:9-22). They mediate the Lord’s will to the people and they function as his spokesmen.
  2. Prophets were guardians of the theocracy. They were sent by God to remind the kings of their covenant obligations (Deuteronomy 17:14-20).
  3. Prophets were witnesses to God’s sovereign rule over history. They give a word of warning. They say when this comes to pass, you will know that God is sovereign over history. For example, Ezekiel says “Then you will know that I am the Lord” over 65 times.
  4. Prophets were covenant prosecutors. They brought the covenant to bear on the people (e.g. Hosea 4:1).
  5. Prophets were intercessors. They pray to God for their people (e.g. Genesis 20:7; 1 Samuel 12:23).
  6. Prophets were “forth-tellers.” They were preachers to their contemporaries. Prophet were not primarily “fore-tellers” (predicting the future).

3 main periods of prophetic activity

  • Pre-classical (early monarchy)
  • Classical (8-7th Centuries BC)
  • Exilic and post-exilic

Why is it important to study the prophetic books

  • They are part of God’s Word.
  • The prophet-hood of every believer
  • They answer more questions about the second coming than Revelation.

Suggestions for reading the Prophets

  • Learn about the history and culture of the period during which the prophets lived.
  • Expect the prophets to use symbolic language. Flannery O’Connor: “To the hard of hearing you shout, for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.”
  • Look for recurrent themes.
  • “Now and Later”: some words have multiple fulfillments.
  • The NT is our only divinely inspired commentary on the the OT prophets.
  • Ultimately, the prophets point us to Christ.
  • Ask God to help us cultivate a prophet’s heart for the people he has placed around us.

Next: 02 There and Back Again: The Strange Journeys of the Glory of God

Series: Erika Moore Collection

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash