November has slipped away in the night and Advent Season dawns. For many Christian denominations the Sundays in December are marked by the light of candles on an Advent wreath. The first candle is known as the Candle of Hope, or the Prophecy Candle. This is a time to reflect on the hope of the Old Testament people.
Having visited some of these prophets, priests and kings in my devotional Blessed Hope a parade of individuals pass through my mind. There is Adam praying for his descendants, there is Eve rejoicing in her salvation. There is Noah giving thanks after surviving the flood and there is Abraham offering a ram in Isaac’s place.
This first December of Advent my thoughts will also turn to the Prophet Isaiah as I’ve just completed a new devotional based on his life and teachings Sure Mercies, which is available for pre-order and which will be released December 7th.
I don’t know about you, but I find parts of Isaiah hard to understand.
Like the ancestors I have not yet researched he seemed distant, very dead and dull.
A couple years ago I decided to change that and launched into a ‘learn about Isaiah’ study. After all Jesus commanded us to study this ancient prophet’s writings. Nephi, who delighted in plainness, loved them. The Saviour took them as his own (see Luke 4:16-21 and 3 Nephi 22).
But where to start?
I soon discovered that all the family history I have been doing has helped me to see the scriptures from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on what Isaiah taught I have tried to find the man behind the writings. In doing so I have come to better understand his life, teachings and testimony.
In the next few posts I will be exploring how to learn from the Book of Isaiah from a Family Historian’s perspective.