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Category: Devotional (page 8 of 28)

Running from God

Jonah has been on my mind.  I guess that is the by-product of having been translating the book lately.   The book has always interested me, but in translating it I see some cool nuances that I have missed before.  Let me share one as our devotional thought today.

The use of irony in the opening verses sets the theme of the whole narrative.  First, God commands Jonah to get up and go to Nineveh.  Jonah gets up (keeping part of God’s command), but decides to run from God.  Second, there is this belief by Jonah that he can run from the presence of God, as if God is only God in certain locations (this is ironic since Jonah is told to preach to a Nineveh, which is not a Israelite nation).

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Snow in the Bible

As I write this there is snow covering my back yard.  It is fresh snow.  The type of snow that is still pristine and white.  Anytime fresh snow hits it reminds me of certain Bible passages.

Many times we do not think of snow when we think of the Old Testament, but Israel was familiar with snow.  This familiarity with snow allows the prophets to use vivid imagery.  Snow is used by the prophets to refer to something that is pure.  David asked to be washed so he could be “whiter than snow” in crying out to God for forgiveness (Psalm 51:7).  Isaiah issues the beautiful promise that “though our sins be scarlet red, God will make us whiter than snow” (1:18).

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True Retirement

Retirement is a relatively new cultural trend.  As people live longer, government programs are initiated, and more discretionary income is available; individuals have a new hope for the day they can stop working.

Many people spend ample time preparing for earthly retirement, but few put the needed focus and energy into preparing for the true rest that God has prepared.  It takes time and effort to ensure we enjoy God’s rest.  Take a few moments to see how your True Retirement planning is going. Here are three truths to consider:

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The Authoritative Word of God

“Scripture is the foundation of the Church: the Church is the guardian of Scripture. When the Church is in strong health, the light of Scripture shines bright; when  the Church is sick, Scripture is corroded by neglect; and thus it happens, that the outward form of Scripture and that of the Church, usually seem to exhibit simultaneously either health or else sickness; and as a rule the way in which Scripture is being treated is in exact correspondence with the condition of the Church” (John Albert Bengel).

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Deeper Look at Genesis 1

The story of Creation is a Sunday School favorite.  Kids memorize each day’s activities.  Pictures are colored of the diverse creation. They are taught the important truth that God created all things.  Special time is spent on sharing with the kids that God created them in His image.

All of these truths are extremely important.  We need to teach them.  However, I think we miss one of the key theological points that Genesis 1 is making.  In Genesis 1 certain phrases are repeated.  We have the repeated phrase, “God said it.”  We have the repeated phrase “it was so.”  And we have the repeated phrase “It was good.”  Anyone who has read the section has seen these repeated phrases.

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