Get roughly two thirds into your standard Bible reading plan, and you’ll be smack dab in the middle of the Prophets, where oracles of judgment and warnings of the wrath to come abound.
I’m right there. I’m somewhere in the middle of Isaiah, where I’m reading a seemingly never-ending string of warnings of judgment against Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, Cush and, of course, Israel itself.
It can be discouraging, to read these warnings, page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book.
There are moments reading where you almost have to wonder if the darkness will ever lift. Will it just keep going on in this dark and bleak way forever?
And that’s where the good news comes in to sustain us.
The warnings of judgment remind us all of how far short Israel fell. Of how far we all fall of the glory of God.
But the Prophets don’t only leave warnings. The Prophets deliver promises. And this is good news for us. They tell of a world where sin will be no more. Of a day when fellowship with God will be fully restored. A time and place where people of every tribe, tongue and nation will all rejoice together in the presence of God.
They promise a man—the Son of Man, the Son of David, the Root of Jesse, the Suffering Servant, God Himself. A man who will bring about all these things.
The promise us Jesus.
Reading the Prophets can be a hard slog at times, no doubt. But we need to remember this: their judgments are fierce, but the grace they hold out is great.
And because of that, we need to keep going. We need to hold out for the good news.
And the good news is there. We just need eyes to see it.