Morning Musing: Zephaniah 2:11

“The Lord will be terrifying to them when he starves all the gods of the earth. Then all the distant coasts and islands of the nations will bow in worship to him, each in its own place.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever joined a club before? You probably have. There are clubs for pretty much every interest you could imagine. Some are open to everyone. Some are more exclusive. Some don’t have very stringent requirements for membership while others are much more personally invasive. If you join one of these clubs, you are expected to adhere to the membership standards whatever they happen to be. What if someone came and tried to penalize you for failing to uphold the rules of a club you never joined? Odds are, you wouldn’t like that very much. With that in mind, let’s talk about this section of Zephaniah.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 3:15

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things. When God designed the world and everything in it, to a certain extent it all reflected His image. It was all good. All of it. So good. As Moses describes God creating one thing after another, you can almost hear Him whistling while He worked He was so tickled at the goodness of it all. It’s like you felt when you were working on a big project and every single detail was falling exactly into place only on a much, much grander scale. It was all so good. And then it wasn’t. But brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things.

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Morning Musing: Amos 9:14-15

“I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel. They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink their wine, make gardens and eat their produce. I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them. The Lord your God has spoken.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you’ve been reading along with me for very long, you know that I’m a big nerd. This is actually a bit of a culture-wide trend. As millions of comic nerds have grown up big studios have started making movies out of their favorite stories. Marvel Studios have done this better than anyone else in my humble opinion. One of the things they’ve done that have kept audiences returning from one film to the next is that they’ve mastered the post-credit scene (scenes actually). As each movie ends, there’s a little hint that the story isn’t over. God’s story works the same way.

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Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:13

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent of two or more, you’ve been through this experience before I imagine: One of your kids does something ugly to another of your kids. What do you do? You make them apologize for what they did. And what do they do? If your kids are like mine, they look disgusted at this instruction, and quickly mumble a meager, “Sorry,” whose inflection makes clear they’re not really sorry at all. And that’s okay, because the exercise of apologizing when you’ve done something wrong is what’s really important in that moment. But relationally speaking, that kind of apology doesn’t accomplish very much. It doesn’t with God either.

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 7:13

“Woe to them, for they fled from me; destruction to them, for they rebelled against me! Though I want to redeem them, they speak lies against me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This verse starts out the way most folks expect the prophets to go. There goes God judging the people again, promising doom and destruction on them. It ends the way we would expect something from the prophets to end. There goes God again, accusing the people of wrongdoing. It’s that thing in the middle that catches us off guard. God wants to redeem them? Wait, what? Let’s look into that one a bit more.

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