Jonah 2:1-10 – God Used What?

Read Jonah 2:1-10

Our story continues, and we hear about what happened to Jonah after going overboard during the ferocious storm. Jonah does this in the form of a prayer. And he prays this from the belly of a fish! From the sounds of it, God’s rescue of Jonah was “just in time” using the fish to catch him and bring Jonah to safety.

Jonah prayed, and God heard him. “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.” It didn’t matter that Jonah had turned his back on God and avoided doing what God had asked him to do. Jonah wisely realized that his only hope was in the very God he was running from. God was also faithful and did not let the rebellious Jonah die.

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Jeremiah 42:1-22 – Ask God First

Read Jeremiah 42:1-22

Ask Knock Matthew 7 words against sun shining through clouds

Is it easier to ask permission or seek forgiveness? I can remember as a youth wanting to do something that instinctively I knew my parents would forbid. So, if I were to go through with it, I’d be asking for forgiveness instead. That is certainly not easy! While I was a rebellious teen, I did try to ask for permission as often as possible!

In our passage today, we see the leaders seeking God’s input to their situation. The people approached Jeremiah and asked him to pray to God. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? But it was almost as if their fingers were crossed behind their backs. They were putting on a good show, weren’t they?

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Jeremiah 14:19-22 – When God is Silent

Read Jeremiah 14:19-22

girl looking up into beams of light

God doesn’t respond here to Jeremiah’s cry for answers. What do you make of his non-response? Does God assume that by now Jeremiah would understand what is coming? Perhaps Jeremiah didn’t expect the timeline of events to be happening so soon. Perhaps Jeremiah still hoped God would change his mind.

How do you behave when you’re waiting for God to answer your prayers? Are you patient or persistent? Sometimes I feel like a broken record repeating the same prayers over and over. In that way I’m persistent, but I can’t say I’m all that patient.

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2 Kings 20:1-11 – Can God Change His Mind?

Read 2 Kings 20:1-11

Have you ever been part of a discussion where the topic is “whether God ever changes his mind?” This is especially a key concept for our prayer lives. Hezekiah didn’t want to die, and he made that abundantly clear to God in his prayers. God’s mind had been made up, as we can see through Isaiah’s prediction of Hezekiah’s death.

This notion the king wouldn’t survive this illness wasn’t Isaiah’s idea. Nobody just makes up the idea somebody else is going to die and then say it’s a word from God. Do they? No, Hezekiah’s time was coming, and God wanted him to know. Knowing when you’re going to die, that, in and of itself is amazing! How many people get privy to “intel” like that? I’m sure it was infrequent in Hezekiah’s day, too.

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2 Kings 19:20-31 – When You Can Breathe Again

Read 2 Kings 19:20-31

cartoon of ant carrying large item while sweating and panting

Think of a time when you finally received a good word after spending hours (maybe even days) on pins and needles because of an unfolding catastrophe. And then it happened. A resolution. A light seen at the end of the tunnel. Remember that sense of being free to breathe, like a weight had just been removed from your chest?

Do you think that’s what Hezekiah may be feeling when he finally hears from Isaiah? We know Hezekiah’s heart has been extremely troubled, feeling torn into different directions. Sometimes we have a pull on our own loyalties. What happens if your loved one doesn’t believe in Jesus like you do?

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