Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:11

“The Lord will pass through the sea of distress and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

History is linear. It is unidirectional. It is going somewhere. We may not be able to see where from any single point along the way, but yesterday was not the day before and the day before that was different still. This wasn’t always thought to be the case. For a time it was fashionable science to hold that the universe was cyclical–it had been expanding and contracting in an endless cycle since eternity past and would continue like this on into eternity future. Then some smart folks looked a little harder and realized that the universe actually started at a single point and has been expanding ever since. Some religious worldviews today still believe that history is cyclical. But it’s not. History moves in one direction. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t repeat itself.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 6:12

“You are to tell him: This is what the Lord of Armies says: Here is a man whose name is Branch; he will branch out from his place and build the Lord’s temple.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, one of my boys had to do a small project on idioms. He had to choose one, illustrate it, define it, and use it in a sentence. He chose the phrase “butterflies in my stomach,” and did a great job with it. An idiom, of course, is a word or phrase that literally means one thing, but is used figuratively to mean something else. The person who speaks of butterflies in his stomach hasn’t been eating caterpillars, he’s nervous. Small animals weren’t falling from the sky here yesterday afternoon, but it sure did rain awfully hard for a little while. Why talk about idioms this morning? Because sometimes Scripture uses what can seem like idioms and this morning offers us an example.

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Digging in Deeper: Luke 23:33

“When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

These are perhaps some of the most unlikely words ever written. God, the eternal creator of the universe, died. On a cross. That’s what it means when it says, “they crucified him.” All modern theories about His perhaps not really dying on the cross to explain away the resurrection aside, when someone was crucified, the end result was their death. Always. But why did it have to be a cross?

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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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