We see lots of fools today. Oh, not the court jester-type of fool with a funny face and a silly hat. And not a comic either. Humor has its own wonderful place. A comedian can help us face deeply disturbing truth about our foibles and failings. But the fools I have in mind are more the mocking cynics. They come on with sophisticated and disturbing analysis. It is often biting, but leaves you empty.Read More
One of the lessons that God is teaching Jonah throughout this book is the same lesson that God is teaching us. The whole book is teaching a lesson about the kindness of God’s mercy.
God’s mercy towards the superstitious, idolatrous sailors who don’t even know God, but end up asking God to have mercy when they throw Jonah overboard.Read More mercy, God’s kindness
In what ways is God merciful? How does God show his kindness? We get a clue as to the extent of God’s kindness in the first verse of this chapter where we read, “Once again the Lord told Jonah…” Here we see that the mercy of God is seen in the fact that He is a God who restores. He is the God who gives second chances.
Let’s face it, when Jonah took a ship to Tarshish, in the completely opposite direction from Nineveh, it wasn’t because he was dyslexic.Read More mercy, consequences, second chances
The word “angry” occurs 6 times in this last chapter. Anger signals that something is wrong but it fails to tell us whether the wrong is outside of us or inside of us. Usually we assume that the wrong is outside us; it’s our spouse or our kids, or this lousy weather or perhaps we even blame God. That is exactly what Jonah did. But when we track anger carefully, we often find it can be traced to a wrong within us: wrong information, inadequate understanding or an underdeveloped heartRead More anger
If the book of Kings teaches us anything about leadership, it is that as goes the leader so goes the apprentice. Hence we read statements like:
“Azariah obeyed the Lord by doing right, as his father Amaziah had done.” (2 Kings 15:3)
“Like his ancestors, Zechariah disobeyed the Lord by following the evil ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused the Israelites to sin.” (2 Kings 15:9)Read More discipleship, responsibility, influence
In this brief account of Uzziah’s downfall from pride we see three ways in which pride manifests itself.
The first way is in Uzziah’s overestimation of his own value. He felt that the offering of incense should be a privilege to which he was entitled. Surely God would be more honoured by the offering of a king as great as he was, rather than that of incense offered by a mere priest.Read More pride, intimidation, being defensive
This Psalm is written with a prophetic edge to it. The psalmist is reflecting on a kingdom whose rule reflects the rule and love of God.
He talks about the prosperity of the righteous, help for the poor and harvest fields that are thriving. It is a land where justice is an everyday affair.
The Lord himself in Matthew 6:9-13 gives to us the Lord’s Prayer.Read More justice, kingdom, the poor