The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14
The final third of the Old Testament contains seventeen books of prophecy, which record the words of men who were called by God and filled with His Spirit to proclaim God’s truth to His people.
Throughout these passages, we see the repetition of several themes: a call for Israel to return to pure worship of the One True God and the pronouncement of impending judg- ment if they continued in their rebellion. Often the message God assigned His prophets to deliver was unpleasant. It’s no wonder Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.” The prophet Micah vowed to “lament and wail” (Micah 1:8).
Yet even within the hard-to-hear messages, we see God’s compassion on display. They help us understand that God’s judgment and His compassion aren’t contradictory. Because He is compassionate, God won’t allow us to stay in our sin and continue to run away from Him. A day was coming when God would put His love into action by sending His Son to save us from our sins.
Make it Personal
Beyond the prophetic books, where do you see the themes of compassion and judgment linked in Scripture?