Inscribe the Word - April Scripture Writing Plan
Happy April, Dear Friends. How have you been doing Inscribing the Word this year. I have to tell you that I am LOVING this years plan. The Bible is becoming more real and tangible and I am learning and growing like never before. When you read (or Inscribe) from the beginning, you see the entirety of Scripture as one story - His story - The story of Jesus. It is truly remarkable. We are so excited to continue Inscribing the Word with you this year. We have just finished writing the first part of Israel’s history from Joshua to 1 Kings, and now we turn to the second part which includes 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.
If you haven’t participated in INSCRIBE THE WORD, we’d like to welcome you to this Bible Study. We started Inscribe the Word in 2016, and since that time thousands of men, women, and children all over the world are getting closer to Jesus and learning more about His Word through these simple plans. We are so incredibly blessed.
We have compiled a list of all of our Inscribe the Word plans from past years into one ULTIMATE INSCRIBE THE WORD Post. We hope it gives you quick access to all of our previous plans. There are a lot of them!
WHY WRITE THROUGH THE BIBLE ?
This year we began a new series here at A Symphony of Praise called “READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR.” This plan is a minimalistic, simple, and efficient way to read the Bible in a year. (You can join us HERE) As I was praying about the direction for Inscribe the Word in 2019, I felt in my heart to go along with the reading plan as we WRITE THE BIBLE in a year. Now before you get nervous - no, we aren’t writing the entire Bible (although that is a dream of mine to accomplish!). We are taking gleanings out of the Scriptures and writing parts of the chapters.
The word glean means to collect bit by bit gradually. We are going to collect some of the key treasures out of the entire collection of sixty-six books of the Bible. It is going to be thrilling and exciting, and I cannot wait to start writing (and reading) the Word with you this year.
GLEANINGS FROM 2 KINGS,
1 & 2 CHRONICLES, EZRA, NEHEMIAH, AND ESTHER.
We are about to continue into the Historical Books of the Old Testament. These books will take us from Joshua to Esther. We will go into Israel’s history starting with the conquest of the Promised Land in the book of Joshua and continuing through the preservation of the Israelite nation through the bravery of a girl named Esther.
In January, we started with the first two books of the Bible; Genesis and Exodus.
In February, we finished the Pentateuch, the Law, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
In March, we inscribed part one of the Historical Books of the Old Testament.
And now, Part Two of the Historical Books of the Old Testament.
WHO: Unknown. However, Jewish tradition holds the prophet Jeremiah as the author.
WHERE: The majority of the Books of Kings are located in a divided Israel.
WHY: “In 1 Kings we have the record of the division of the kingdom, and 2 Kings records the collapse of the kingdom. Considering the two books as a unit, they open with King David, and they close with the king of Babylon. They are the book of man’s rule over God’s kingdom—and the results are not good, of course. The throne on earth must be in tune with the throne in heaven if blessings are to come and benefits are to accrue to God’s people. Yet man’s plan cannot overthrow God’s purposes, as we shall see.” - J. Vernon McGee
WHAT: “The Books of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings combined represent a chronicle of the entire history of Judah’s and Israel’s kingship from Saul to Zedekiah. First and Second Chronicles provides only the history of Judah’s monarchy.” - Dr. John MacArthur
The main events of 2 Kings include Elisha’s ministry, Israel’s exile to Assyria, and Judah’s exile to Babylon.
1 & 2 Chronicles
WHO: Jewish tradition strongly favors Ezra as the author of these books.
WHY: You may read Chronicles and think that you are re-reading part of 1 & 2 Kings or 1 & 2 Samuel. When reading through Kings or Samuel, it is as if you are reading through a broad telescope seeing the big picture. 1 & 2 Chronicles is like reading through a microscope. It focuses in on key events and people inspired by the Holy Spirit for our benefit and instruction. God is going into detail in the Chronicles and we will find a treasure inside.
WHEN: Chronicles is written after the exile of Israel that we find at the end of 2 Kings. 2 Kings ends with Israel and Judah held in captivity. Chronicles then summarizes Israel and Judah’s history; focusing mostly on Judah and the line of King David.
WHO: The author of the Book of Ezra is most likely Ezra the scribe and servant of the Lord.
WHERE: The Book of Ezra records the history of the Jewish people returning to the land of Israel after their captivity. Ezra led the second group of exiles returning to the land.
WHAT: Ezra was a priest and a scribe. He was a man who knew God’s Law, studied it, obeyed it, and put it into practice. J. Vernon McGee says of the following books, “When we conclude 2 Chronicles, we see that the southern kingdom of Judah went into captivity for seventy years. We do not hear a word from them after they were captured until Ezra picks up their history. There are three historical books that are called “postcaptivity” books: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.”
WHY: “From its contents we especially learn, that every good work will meet with opposition from enemies, and be hurt by the misconduct of friends; but that God will make his cause to prevail, notwithstanding all obstacles and adversaries.” - Matthew Henry
WHO: Much of the Book of Nehemiah is written in the first person. Many suggest that Nehemiah is the author and many believe Ezra to be the author. Most scholars are of the opinion that Nehemiah wrote the book and Ezra edited.
WHERE: Nehemiah records the history of the the third return to Jerusalem after captivity, and the campaign to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
WHAT: The Book of Ezra deals with the religious aspects of the exiles returns while the Book fo Nehemiah deals with the political. Chronologically, this is the last of the historical books of the Old Testament. Esther falls somewhere in between Ezra and Nehemiah.
WHY: Many scholars believe Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book. They certainly do go hand-in-hand. Both Ezra and Nehemiah were tremendous men of God each with very different gifts. But there was a place for them both in God’s work.
WHO: Unknown. Possibly Mordecai. (See Esther 9:29)
WHERE: The events of Esther occur approximately 30 years prior to those recorded in Nehemiah. It is set in the Persian Empire
WHAT: The book of Esther occurs between the first return of the exiles after the seventy-year captivity in Babylon and the second return that was led by Ezra. Here we find Hadasseh, Esther. A young Jewish girl exiled from her home and living in Persia, through a series of events, she finds her way into the throne room of the king; providentially placed there by God to help save her people.
To Note: The name of God is not mentioned in the book of Esther and neither is a pronoun pointing to Him. Prayer is also never mentioned in this book. The Book of Esther is the only book that doesn’t directly point to God and is not quoted in the New Testament. As you read through Esther, note God’s hand moving in the shadows even though He is hidden. In Deuteronomy 31:18 God tells Israel, “And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.” In the Book of Esther, God is hidden in the shadows, but still, because of His great love for His people, He is working.
Thus ends the Books of Israel’s History in the Old Testament. These are tremendous books of the Bible and I find they bring you deeper and deeper into the heart of God. When you see His people and how they needed a Savior, we can only rejoice that we know and are in relationship to our Deliverer; Jesus Christ.
Join us each day on YOUTUBE as we do a short daily devotional walking through each of these passages of Scripture. You will not want to miss these short Bible Studies in helping to dig out the truths of these passages of Scripture.