Sometimes, in scripture, it seems as though God responds with compassion and answers to questions. Other times, it seems God responds with a rebuke. Why?
It would be another one hundred years and more before God’s judgment would come, years of noticeable decline for Judah as they continued to ignore their prophets and disregard God’s word.
For this study, I’m going to be reading from the Greek text, so my translations will retain an "accent," so to speak. But I am convinced the gems are easier to find in the original language, and my decision was immediately rewarded as I opened to the first page and read the first three words.
Isaiah spoke of God’s anger, but he began with God’s deep sorrow, with a Hebrew word, הוֺי | hôy, that is translated as ah!, alas!, ha!, ho!, O!, woe! It is meant as a cry of pain, and of lament.
How do we outline a book that's a letter, but also prophecy, but also apocalypse? It's the Word of the Lord, highly symbolic, yet also (in parts) plain speaking and historical.
Anticipation of the future, whether you and I are looking forward to something wonderful, or something dreadful, really does have a significant impact on our lives, and that is what we are going to see in this passage.
what we do (or do not do) about righteously tending and caring for the physical earth itself matters to God; what we do (or do not do) about hungry people and homeless people, marginalized people and people in need matters to God.
Even a few sentences in, we can tell the Book of Revelation is unlike anything else in the Christian Testament. But the truth is, there is really nothing like it in the Hebrew Scriptures either, although there are many references to various prophetic imagery and events from the Hebrew scriptures.
These last three chapters are Second Zechariah’s second oracle, describing the completion of God’s plan from the beginning, from before the creation of the world. When God gave God’s people the seven feasts described in Exodus, they were each prophetic of God’s plan of salvation. So far, four of those feasts have been fulfilled in Christ, and chapters 12-14 reflect the fulfillment to come of the last three feasts.
Having now established the supremacy of Christ, the writer turned his attention to those mysterious celestial beings, the angels.