Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wedding Cakes

Many people may be kept away from reading prophecy by the style of its writing. A theme is laid out, sometimes in one sentence. We may then expect a nice linear sequence of events from beginning to end. While this is true of a novel or a detective story, it is not the way prophecy is often written.

Isaiah is a good illustration. Like a wedding cake it has many layers. And like the Detective Columbo, the author keeps saying, "One more thing." A point is made, then repeated again in different ways. If we are patient, we keep learning new themes.

I have been listening to the book of Isaiah in the New Living Version. It really is so clear that way. When the author speaks of a poor harvest, instead of using old English terms, this version speaks of acres of land and gallons of wine.

My mother was invited to attend the symphony a number of times. But she described classical music as repetitious--the same theme over and over. Truly it is the layer cake of music. But its richness comes from subtle variations.

Prophecy, nowhere more than in Isaiah, keeps adding new themes and leaps from the 700's B.C. to the millennium in what can be the most confusing fashion. Local prophecies can suddenly be world wide ideas in a flash. But it is so rich that being patient can be infinitely rewarding. From ladies' fashions to the wrath and mercy of God, it is all there.

If you have yet to, please read or listen to Isaiah, and in a modern translation or paraphrase. Be ready to take notes. It is like going to Bible college while yet in your home.

A very excellent way to look at its multitude of themes is to pass over things that you do not understand at the moment, and keep moving. Though an Old Testament book, it will help you understand the book of Revelation.

Layers of cake and icing--the book of Isaiah--how sweet they are.

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