Module 11: From Greatness to Destruction
Beginning with Israel as the world super-power, to its eventual destruction, this module follows the decline of Israel through the divided kingdom and beyond. Idolatry, like a cancer, eats away at the very heart of the nation, and despite the many prophets sent by the Lord and the great grace shown, the people are resistant to the heart-cry of God. The message of both Elijah and Elisha and later Amos and Hosea, with their special ministry to the northern tribes, falls on deaf ears. This led to the destruction and exile of these peoples. For the Southern Kingdom too, ignoring the words of their mighty prophets, destruction eventually came and the glorious temple that was built in the beginning lies in ruins at the end. But the longsuffering patience of the Lord is declared on every page. There is a brief unit in this module to introduce you to Hebrew Poetry, the communications medium of so many of the prophets. The study of Deuteronomy is a prerequisite for this module.
1 and 2 Kings
This book that begins with the glory of God filling a magnificent gold plated temple with his glory, ends with this same temple broken and burned. How did this happen? Why did the kingdom divide? As you work your way through these books you will discover the persistence and longsuffering patience of Israel’s God. You will see how the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy are worked out in the national life. You will encounter the God who is "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…” Ex 34:6,7. The history you will learn in this Unit is an important foundation for your future studies in the prophets, and will help these wonderful books come alive.
Introduction to Hebrew Poetry
Before moving into the Old Testament Prophets with 'The Introduction to the Prophets and Amos', we pause to explore the genre of Hebrew Poetry, which is foundational for any significant engagement with the Prophets. This brief unit consists of some of the lessons taken from the Psalms module (13:1). If you have already completed the Psalms module, you can skip this unit but if not, this is essential preparation for the rest of this module, and indeed, for the rest of the course.
Introduction to the Prophets and Amos
Before you study this book, you will be introduced to a new genre, the Old Testament Prophet. You will learn about this kind of literature and how to observe, interpret and apply it well. Then you will apply what you have learned to this powerful prophet Amos. You will discover that when you understand the setting, history and the way the prophets communicated their message, the often overlooked writings of the prophets have much contemporary significance.
As you apply your inductive skills to this moving book, you will feel the broken heart of God over his wayward people as a husband grieves over an unfaithful wife. You will discover the disastrous fruit of idolatry, and for many in Israel this meant they suffered great injustice because of the false gods worshipped. But there is always hope….