Digging in Deeper: Jonah 1:12-13

“He answered them, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea so that it will calm down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this great storm that is against you.’ Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they couldn’t because the sea was raging against them more and more.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When I was growing up, we had a board game called Bonkers. The idea was that the game was different every time you played. The board didn’t have any instructions on the path you followed. Instead, you added them as you went. The results varied, but the roll of the dice could result in the loss of several points, or a turn that went on for several minutes. It was bonkers…kind of like the story of Jonah the further into it we get.

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Morning Musing: Jonah 1:6

“The captain approached him and said, ‘What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever met someone from a different religion than you practiced who struck you as more committed to their faith than you were to your own? There is something really attractive about that. As followers of God, our level of devotion sends a message to the world around us about how worthy He is of their devotion. As we talked about Friday, Jonah gives us a great example here of how not to do this well.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 6:3-4

“And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.” (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

When God gave Moses instructions for building the ark as recorded in Exodus, He was really specific about it. Every single detail of how it was to be made and what it was to look like was spelled out exactly as God wanted it. He even gave them instructions for how to make the materials (gold-covered poles) with which the ark was to be transported. These poles were the only things that were to be used to move the ark. And nobody was to touch it. Ever. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:22-23

“And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Saul’s excuse for disobeying the Lord’s clear command to destroy everything related to the Amalekites especially including all the spoils of war, was that he was going to offer a celebratory sacrifice to God. Now, this was probably mostly a lie because he’d gotten caught, but at least it sounded good right? I didn’t obey you, Lord, because I was going to give you a gift. What Saul reflects in this excuse is a fundamental misunderstanding of the character and identity of the Lord. It’s a misunderstanding that Samuel moves immediately to correct. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:9, 13

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction. . . .And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What were God’s instructions to Saul? He was to destroy everything when he attacked the Amalekites. Everything is a hard word to misinterpret. In pretty much every occasion it means…everything. It doesn’t leave anything out. Now, perhaps it can be used hyperbolically, but that wasn’t how God used it in His instructions to Saul. He meant everything. And Saul didn’t obey. Read the rest…