We begin our journey not at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle. Before Christ, but after "the beginning."
We started to read the Book of the the Prophet Isaiah. Mostly because our nephew's name is Isaiah. Finding it a bit daunting to start at the beginning and read cover to cover, we decided to dive in feet first and jump around as we see fit, i.e. if we are confused due to lack of chronology.
As we began, we felt a little confused about what exactly was being prophesied. It seemed a little unclear as to whether this was about "end times" or Jesus' coming. After about 10 Chapters, we finally gathered this was God saying, "Israel, you are being naughty, so I am allowing your enemies to take away your land. I am not going to smite you with my own hand, but I'm not going to protect you anymore. I've tried a heavy handed approach in the past and it didn't work, so now I am just going to allow you to meet your own demise. Those who remain good will be saved, but the land will not return to you until you can clean up your act. The sign that this is all my doing is that a virgin will give birth to a son."
After reading, we looked up a little bit about the history of the land, which is now Israel/Palestine (the source of much warring today). It was interesting to see the way history has played out--how the land was during this prophesied period and how it is now. Israel is still so very protective of their land because God is not protecting them anymore...why? because they put Jesus on a cross and still refuse to believe that he is the one spoken of in Isaiah. On another brief note, Google the Gospel of Peter (not in the bible), find an English translation, and check out what Jesus has to say when Peter asks him to elaborate on relating Israel to a fig tree. Any responses and thoughts on this little assignment are welcomed in the comments section. We have our thoughts, but would love to hear yours.
It is likely that our views will be modified as we read on. This is our first attempt, after all. It is our plan to read out loud together, review as each chapter is read, blog, and then when an entire book is read, go back and re-read. I believe this will take us a while...
This has been today's Fresh Take.