Morning Musing: Zechariah 1:8-9

“I looked out in the night and saw a man riding on a chestnut horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in the valley. Behind him were chestnut, brown, and white horses. I asked, ‘What are these, my lord?’ The angel who was talking to me replied, ‘I will show you what they are.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Discipline is not fun. It’s not fun and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who takes the opposite opinion. It certainly doesn’t appear in the Scriptures. The most explicit reference to discipline there comes from the writer of Hebrews who says it plainly: “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful.” This is doubly true when you are the one doing the disciplining and the object of your effort is your children. When the discipline is over, though, what is needed then? We get a glimpse of that here in Zechariah’s first vision.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 1:3

“So tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: Return to me — this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies — and I will return to you, says the Lord of Armies.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had someone do something to hurt or offend you, apologize, but then do it again? How did you feel the second time? Perhaps foolish if you left yourself in a position to be hurt again, but certainly angrier than you were the first time. If they apologized for subsequent offenses, how did you feel about their apology? How genuine did their repentance feel? Not very. Why? Because repentance needs to be a lifestyle, not merely a point in time.

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Morning Musing: Zephaniah 2:3

“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who carry out what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lord’s anger.”
— ‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭2:3‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When I was in high school I got to perform in a percussion ensemble for state competition. Our piece was the Mau Mau Suite. I don’t really remember that much about it except it was a lot of fun to play and one of the movements was called “The Gods Must Be Angry.” That idea came to mind when reading this verse. In most human cultures across the ages, much of the activity and decisions of the people were driven by this thought that the gods must be angry. Because they are angry, they must be appeased. How do you do that? Well…it’s hard to say. It serves to make religion and life kind of scary. What we see here gives us a small reminder that the God of the Bible isn’t like that.

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Digging in Deeper: Jonah 4:10-11

“So the Lord said, ‘You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you care about most? Don’t just go with the first thing that comes to mind. What is the thing on which you’ll spend the most money? To what do you give the bulk of your time? About what do you get the most worked up in the shortest time? The answer to those questions will point you in the direction of what is truly your greatest concern. What we see here at the end of Jonah is a glimpse at what is most important to God.

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Morning Musing: Jonah 3:10

“God saw their actions — that they had turned from their evil ways — so God relented from the disaster he had threatened them with. And he did not do it.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time (after Die Hard) is Home Alone. And whether you agree with me or not, it is a fact that it’s the third highest grossing Christmas movie ever (behind the recent remake of The Grinch at number two and Iron Man 3 running away with the top spot). In any event, one of my favorite scenes comes right at the very end when Kevin walks downstairs Christmas morning and finds his mom standing there. She apologizes earnestly for their forgetting him when they left on vacation and there’s this moment where it looks like he’s deciding whether to forgive her or not. Then he breaks into a big grin and everybody lives happily ever after (except the bad guys). That scene could have been inspired by what happens here in Jonah.

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