George Frideric Handel composed his masterpiece Messiah in 1741, completing it in just 24 days. The text, taken entirely from Scripture, sketches an enduring portrait of Jesus Christ from the Old Testament prophecies of his coming, to his glorious triumph in the New Testament. Can you name the book of the Bible these famous airs, recitatives, and choruses come from? (There are more answers than needed and answers may be repeated.)
- 1 Corinthians
- Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. __________
- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. ____________
- There were ? shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ______________
- Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? _______________
- How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace ? that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! _______________
- Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. ___________
- I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though ? worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. ______________
Answers to Build Your Bible Power
1. Isaiah 40:1-2 Isaiah had prophesied captivity in Babylon because of his nation's sin. Now he comforts them with God's promise of pardon. It becomes a promise of deliverance from captivity to sin in verse 5, with the coming Messiah: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."
2. Isaiah 9:6 Israel's most wicked king, Manasseh, ruled during Isaiah's time. But God promised a future king, a royal son of David, whose reign would bless mankind.
3. Luke 2:8 Scholars believe the shepherds were guarding the temple flocks?the sheep which would be used for the daily sacrifices at God's temple in Jerusalem, six miles away. How appropriate that God should announce to them the birth of "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
4. Psalms 24:7-8 Gates offered access to fortified cities; to take the gate was to conquer the city. This Psalm pictures the enemy's strongholds opening before the Messiah. Jesus promised that "the gates of Hades will not overcome" the church (Matt. 16:18).
5. Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15 Isaiah portrays a messenger bringing news from the battlefield to the king and his people who anxiously await the outcome (see 2 Sam. 18:26). Paul quotes this prophecy in Romans as he urges his readers to help spread the good news.
6. Revelation 19:6 In his vision, John saw a great multitude worshiping the victorious Christ and, as in Handel's resounding chorus, the word "Hallelujah" is repeated again and again. "Hallelujah" comes from two Hebrew words (Hallelu Ya) and means "praise the Lord."
7. Job 19:25-26 Falsely accused and facing inexplicable suffering, Job could still utter words of faith; God, his redeemer, would one day exonerate him. That faith has empowered believers from ancient days on to endure unjust suffering and persecution.
1998 by the author or Christianity Today/Today's Christian magazine (formerly Christian Reader).
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