MISSION IN THE PROPHETS

November 4, 2007

Prophets spoke God’s message without fear or favor. This message varied according to the circumstances of the time, so 8th and 7th century prophets faced kingdoms, that were often complacent in the face of increasingly powerful empires based in mesopotamia, but whose economic and political structures oppressed the weak and poor. After the fall of Jerusalem in 586bce by contrast the prophets addressed discouraged people, who often lacked hope that God could or would save them from pagan empires and their many gods. The prophet books are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Each of these prophets prophecsied at different times, some before the exile, other during and after the exile. The major themes of the books includes, the universality and uniqueness of God, the purpose of God for humanity, the particurity of Israel and their ethical life as a key to the fulfilment of the purpose and the escthatological dimension.

The dominant tone and purpose of particular books, or sections of a book, can be understood against these historical periods. So, Amos begins with prophecies concerning several nations (universality of God) Amos 1:1-2:3. it was followed by prophecies concerning depraved Israel, successful, but lacking in moral character and seeking to use outward trapping of piety as a covering for their deeds (particularity of Israel) chpt 2:6 While a prophet speaking to a later time might contain mainly messages of hope and encouragement. Yet the God who seeks to persuade the covenant people to put their lives right is also the God who remains faithful, even to an often faithless humanity, and so all the books also contain glimpses of future blessing.

Jeremaiah means whom Jehovah has appointed. This mighty man of God was appointed for a great mission even before his birth. Jer.1:5. His mission and message was cheifly one of judgement upon Judah because of his shameful and persistent sins. Jer. 1:10. Jeremaiah was called as a weeping prophet but he received some great visions of promise, the return from captivity, chapt.25;29 the new covenant chapt.31 and the whole ultimate return of the Messaiah to Jerusalem chapt.23. It was Jeremaiah and Christ that fortold and wept over the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Jer,22:5-7, Matt.23:37-39. And each of them were rejected by his own people. Jer.20:1-3, 36:32 and John 1:11. This shows how God uses mission to justify his peolpe and to plant a solidarity among His nation and the nations of the world.
Ezekiel devotes a significant amount of time foretelling the restoration of Israel as a nation and to their God, Yahweh (Ezekiel 36-39). While Ezekiel wrote, the Jews were in captivity and their nation, Judah, had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Thus, Ezekiel’s prophecies gave assurance to the Jews that although they were for the time being in exile and under humiliation, they would eventually return to their land permanently. Chapter 36 talks about the return to the land and the prosperity of the new country. Chapter 37 contains the “Valley of Dry Bones” vision, in which God promises to restore life to Israel. Finally, a promise is given in the chapter that Israel would be united as one nation and be established permanently.

Daniel meaning ‘my God is judge’ shows the sovereingty of God’s control over all events in the history of humanity. The things which appear in Daniel’s visions such like the great statue, the beasts, the angelic messangers, and the description of God’s glory are also being potrayed in the book of Revelation.
The prophecies of Hosea and Amos are alike. Hosea was asked to solidarise the relationship between God and Israel through his marriage to a prostitute.

Isaiah is a combination of prophecy concerning events that would affect Israel during and following his lifetime, prophetical statement concerning the coming Messiah, and descriptions of the millennial kingdom yet to come.

Therefore, the mission in the prophets are of social justice, the restoration of Israel, solidarity and future blessings and judgement for humanity.

MISSION IN THE HISTORICAL BOOKS

October 20, 2007

THE INTERACTION OF ISRAEL WITH OTHER NATION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF OBEYING THE LAW.

The book of Joshua emphasizes  Firstly,the faithfulness of God to give Isreal the land of Canaan (cf Gen. 13:15). This victory was under Joshua leadership who was Moses ‘ s succeessor. From the time of the ten commandments at mount sinai, both Joshua and Caleb however were seen as peolpe of God on a mission to conquer the promised land for the people of God. Joshua 10: 2-5 and Exodus 24:13. Secondly, the importance of the law of God (Joshua 1:8; 8:32-35)

Israel conquest of other nations continued in judges. Also we so Israel defeated in many occasion. The reason was pointed out in chapter 17:6 and 21:25 ”every man did what was right in his own eyes”. These provides many examples of the principle that obedience to the law brings peace, whereas disobedience means oppression and death.

The book of Judges is the book of which records and recounts the sadness events concerning the apostasy of Israelites. As every man was doing what is right in their own eyes. Judges 17:6 and 21: 25. The Israelites did indulged in total adolatry and immorality of the people of Canaanites, but God kept on reminding them of their bad ways. Hence, as the book reflects a vicious cycle which Israel refused to escape, so God sent oppressor and Israel repented. In God ’s kindness, He sent a deliverer too and peace came as well as prosperity. Though Israel continue to let God down by fallen over and over again.

THE UNIVERSALITY OF GOD

Ruth herself shows that Gentles could believe in the true God. Ruth as a book is a very inspiring love story which actively shows the provedential care and special grace of God in humanity. However, at the end, the genealogical importance is shown and it also highlighted how Ruth was chosen by God. Even thuogh Ruth was from heathen background in the land of Moab, God still use her be an ancestor and kinsman of king david.

THE PARTICULARITY OF ISRAEL

First and second Samuel is the book which shows the time of transitional period between Judges’s time and the time of the Kings in Israel. This book talks about Samuel bridging the gap of Judges and the Kings. According to 1 sam. 13:14, God chose David because he is a man after God’s heart. So the prophetic blessing which God did give to David involves the promise. It is also involves the kingdom of God which will be for ever established.

First and second Kings narative story is related about the history of Jewish people from the death of David to the captivity of Judah.
The book of Chronicles is about extensive genealogies from chapt. 1-9, this has to trace the family lines of family way back to the time of Adam. The record reminded us returning exiles which the law of Moses used in dividing the land and religious duties among the twelve tribes of Israel. The writer of this book was Ezra who was on God’s mission, Ezra has a purpose of coming to Jerusalem in order to teach the people of God about the laws of

MISSION IN THE PENTATEUCH

October 20, 2007

1. GOD’S UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSAL PURPOSE

The Bible is the whole counsel of God and a united testimony of God’s purpose to create and redeem the whole world for continual relationship with Him. The pentateuch is believe to be the foundation setting of God’s uniqueness and universal purpose through creation and the call of Abraham, particularity of Israel and His sovereignity, redemption and judgment. 

God is consistently shown to be the rightful king over all creation. The Bible is permeated with belief that God created the universe, and that it was created according to design and not by accident (Genesis chapter 1, Isaiah 42:5). God’s mission is to fulfil His purpose of creation which is according to Christian for humanity to know and worship him in truth and in spirit.

2. GOD’S MISSION THROUGH ABRAHAM

Although, Abraham does not give us the total picture of mission however, we can reflect on Abraham as a model of mission (Gen. 12- 26). we see a man significantly encountering God. he journeys with God in communities geographically and cross-culturally. His purpose was to affact and bless people and set a standard thruogh his faith in God. He affirms their freedom of choice, but does not neglect them when they refuse God. In fact he intercedes for blessing on their behalf. His life provides an essential picture of mission and the kingdom of God.

3. PARTICULARITY OF ISRAEL

As we have said that Gods purpose of creation was to bless and have fellowship with humanity. God choose Israel precisely to fulfil that purpose bring blessing ultimately to all nations. This theme is traced from the various covenants. Deuteronomy 7:6-11

Five Mission Statement in the Bible

October 13, 2007

1. What is mission?

John 20:21… Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Where must we mission

Matthew 24:14… ‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world….

Matthew 28:19… ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,………..

Why must we do mission?

Matthew 24:14…….. This gospel of the kingdon must be preached, in all the world for a witness unto all nation……

 How can we do mission

Acts 10:38….  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

When do we do mission

Acts 9:6 ……. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city……..