Zephaniah was a contemporary of Jeremiah and would have spoken God’s words during the reign of King Josiah. You’ll recall when King Josiah learned of the scrolls containing God’s law, great reforms began to help the people of Judah to return to God. Zephaniah would help shake the people of Judah out of their complacency so they could understand their hope comes from God.
Zephaniah doesn’t sugar coat the radical message from God but gets right to the point. God’s wrath will sweep away everything and crush Jerusalem and Judah. Even his own creation will suffer. God’s anger has been fueled by all the idol worship that fills the land.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:1-6 – God’s Wrath”
Read Nahum 2:1-13
It’s not easy to read about the destruction of human life, even when those humans had been oppressive enemies of God’s people. They had their triumphs in this world, but their time was done. Completely done.
Justice. The Assyrians who had been ruthless to Israel and Judah would now be silent. God allowed and orchestrated their demise at the hands of the Babylonians, the same empire who trampled on Judah. Such an interesting time in history with profound messages from our Creator.
Continue reading “Nahum 2:1-13 – Nineveh’s Demise”
One of the basic themes of James’ letter is that God exalts the poor and humbles the rich. Why does he do that? It’s so only the humble can boast. Think about that for a second. When we allow God to work in our lives and give God the credit for what we have accomplished, our whole mindset shifts. Who gets the glory? Certainly not us, and rightly so.
Even Paul was clear on this. He told us he was glad to boast about his weaknesses because that showed God at work when he overcame times of adversity. Our text here in James is using the example of being poor and rich. James may be recalling Psalm 49:6 which reads, “They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches.” Think about some wealthy people you know. Do they humble themselves before God and give God the credit for their abundance? Or are they more like the one described by the psalmist?
Continue reading “James 1:9-18 – Humility”
We see five individual prophecies of doom in today’s reading. Each recipient of God’s wrath has a little different story, but what they share in common is proximity to Israel and Judah. Why do you think we need to see how God is going to deal with other nations?
It’s helpful to know God is fighting for those he loves. Sometimes it means he has to take control of those around us who are causing us harm or poised to do so. We don’t have to seek revenge. God does the heavy lifting for us. Here’s a little of what I took note of in my reflection of the text and research of who these nations were.
Continue reading “Jeremiah 49:1-39 – God’s Fury”
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9
I knew we would encounter these verses sometime during our Bible discovery challenge! While I’m not a fan of preaching about “rules” for Christians to follow, this counsel spells it out clearly and is repeated in other places within the Bible for added emphasis.
It’s pretty much a no brainer that if we are believers, we love God. But do we love him with our whole heart, soul, and strength? Are we even capable of loving him that much? Don’t we have our spouses, families, and friends whom we also love? How do we give God our “whole” heart?
Continue reading “Deuteronomy 6:1-9 💙 Who Holds Your Heart?”