Morning Musing: Nahum 3:18-19

“King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your officers sleep. Your people are scattered across the mountains with no one to gather them together. There is no remedy for your injury; your wound is severe. All who hear the news about you will clap their hands because of you, for who has not experienced your constant cruelty?”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Last Friday we ended with a question; a haunting question at that. Who would show some sympathy to Assyria? Who would give her any comfort? This morning we get our answer. No one. No one is available or willing. Actually it’s worse than that. Let’s talk about just how bad it is and what we are to do with this little collection of prophecy.

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Digging in Deeper: Micah 6:13

“As a result, I have begun to strike you severely, bringing desolation because of your sins.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When I was in college, I read a book that had a profound impact on my views on sin and grace. Of the two, it had the most transformative impact on my thinking about sin. It wasn’t simply that the ideas the author expressed were so profound (although they certainly were), it was that the way he presented them was so compelling. He used imagery that I can still call to mind in detail all these years later. The basic premise was this: Most of the way we think about sin ranges from silly to wrong, and if we don’t think about sin rightly, we won’t be able to understand just how amazing grace really is. I think what we see here in Micah helps to reinforce this important truth.

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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 2:7

“As my life was fading away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, to your holy temple.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There’s something about good things happening at the last second that inspires us. Bottom of the ninth home runs in baseball or buzzer beaters in basketball are the most exciting ways for a team to achieve victory. I think there’s a very good reason for this and we see a hint of it right here in Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:23

“See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We love the idea of going on a quest. We may not necessarily want to go on one ourselves, but we love the idea. Every good story is based around some kind of a journey. We have to get somewhere in order to do something, overcoming some obstacles along the way. This concept pulses so deeply in our hearts that it lies at the root of our religion too. Every religion is about people going on a quest to obtain the blessing or the power or the presence of the divine. Every religion, that is, save one.

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