Morning Musing: Micah 7:9

“Because I have sinned against him, I must endure the Lord’s fury until he champions my cause and establishes justice for me. He will bring me into the light; I will see his salvation.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you experienced the law of cause and effect? I suspect you have. You do one thing and something else happens. Cause. Effect. Sometimes this law works itself out quickly and obviously. Other times, though, the connection from one to the other is much more difficult to make. This is often because the path from a cause to its effect takes much longer to reveal itself. The challenge here is that when sin is a cause and its effect is delayed, we begin to think that it has no effect. But as Micah warns here, its effect will come.

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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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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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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 2:9-11

“Yet I destroyed the Amorite as Israel advanced; his height was like the cedars, and he was as sturdy as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath. And I brought you from the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness in order to possess the land of the Amorite. I raised up some of your sons as prophets and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is this not the case, Israelites? This is the Lord’s declaration.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Some sins are generational. When I was growing up, my family was within a few days of making our first pilgrimage to Disney World. I remember being upset about something and, standing in our front yard facing the door to the house where my dad stood, I complained that I didn’t have much to be happy about at the moment. He actually didn’t kill me. One of my own boys recently bemoaned how awful his life is. I didn’t kill him either, but reminded him of the many blessings he does enjoy. As a parent, this kind of thing makes you want to scream and pull your hair out. But it also makes you want to throw your hands up and shout, “What?!?!?” That’s a little like what God seems to be feeling here.

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