The structure of Isaiah 6-12

After spending some time doing an overview of the theme of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament, starting in Genesis, we’ve decided to do a detailed study of Isaiah, since it is so rich in themes of the Kingdom.

This Sunday just past, we got up to chapter 12. To better get the context, we’ve put together a chart outlining how the section represented by chapters 6 through 12 fit together.

Structure of Isaiah 6-12

The Kingdom of God in the creation account

On Sunday mornings, we’ve been looking into what we can learn about the Kingdom of God – God’s reign – from the Old Testament scriptures. It is quite enlightening to see that in God’s original plan recorded for us in Genesis 1-2 we see a good creation, with God, the wise ruler, ruling over all. We also see that God has entrusted human beings, whom he created in his own image, with the rule over the seas, the land and the sky and everything in them, to rule over as God’s representatives.

I outlined this in a chart: Chart: The Kingdom of God in Geneses 1-2 which I hope you also find helpful.

It also shows the utter tragedy of the Fall recorded in Genesis 3. The ordered nature of rule was turned upside down when the man and the woman, seeking to set themselves up as rulers “knowing good and evil” (by which I understand that they sought to determine for themselves what was good), apart from the rule of God, ended up “worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

No wonder creation itself “groans”, waiting for the “revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:18-22) – those who, having been redeemed by God, become what Adam and Eve threw away. As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews says, after quoting Psalm 8, a reflection on the wonder of God’s creating purpose: “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him [i.e. humankind]“. But, glory to God!, we see Jesus who, having taken on flesh, and suffering, dying, and rising again, crowned with glory and honour (Hebrews 2:9). So we know that we who are in him can also look forward to our own resurrection, when we are made to be all that God intended us to be.

I know I am looking forward to everything being set right once more, with everything in its proper place, with the loving reign of God filling the whole earth and faithfully passed on by all God’s people. What a glorious day that will be!

New articles and papers

I’ve just uploaded three new documents to the Studies page:

God makes all things new is an introductory set of Bible studies to teach the basics of the Christian story and hope to those who do not know the Gospel, or those who are young in the faith and want to better grasp where they fit into the Gospel story.

Mission and Baptism is a short paper I wrote discussing the purpose of baptism in the larger context of the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus.

Sermon on the Mount is a collated set of studies I taught in 2010 on Matthew 5-7.