Jonah 1:1-17 – Running from God

Read Jonah 1:1-17

The Book of Jonah may be considered one of the 12 minor prophets. Surprisingly, we’ll see that Jonah himself never gives an oracle from God like other prophets. Why, then, is it a prophetic book? Because the story or parable that we encounter does have a very important message for us, just as if God himself had spoken the words through Jonah. Reference is made to Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25, as well, identifying him as a prophet.

The story Jonah tells may also be familiar to you from Sunday School classes or Vacation Bible School skits. I’ll never forget using tuna to create the illusion of being inside a big fish! As you read through this short book this time, set aside what may be familiar and look deeper at God’s message for you.

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Jeremiah 47:1-7 – What is God’s Purpose?

Read Jeremiah 47:1-7

man in overalls with his back facing us and the word WHY? written in a thought bubble above his head, blue sky in the background

The Philistines had always been a rival to the Israelites. Now, they, too, were caught in between the powers of Babylon and Egypt. The exact date of Egypt’s attack spoken of here is not known, but it’s clear God was going to destroy the Philistines, too. I was curious to note that the prophecy’s destruction seemed to be from the north whereas Egypt is on the southern border of the region.

Scholars have looked at how God’s prophecies speak of a major transformation in world power. We can’t help but ask what was God’s purpose in all of this? Wasn’t he simply angry at his own people for falling away and refusing to listen to him? No reason was given as to why the Philistines would suffer in this manner.

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1 Timothy 1:12-17 – Whom God Uses

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17

colorful people figures walking forward following each other

Think for a moment about Paul’s life before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. What a dramatic difference from what Paul’s life looks like as an apostle of Jesus! If we look at Bible heroes in general, we see how unprepared they were on their own.

God always equips those he calls. There is no greater honor than to be used by God for his purposes. Can you think of some examples in the Bible? The pages of Scripture are full of times we see God using imperfect people for the sake of his mission.

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