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“May you and I remember true security is found in God alone.” <>< Dona (12/18/20)

Please read Obadiah and Jonah 1 through 4.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Theme Obadiah

The destruction of Edom and the Restoration of Israel.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Your plan was to bring judgment against the nation of Edom (v. 1-4).

Something to think about

The Edomites and the Israelites descended from two brothers -Esau and Jacob (see Genesis 25:19-26).   Edom was being judged because of how they treated Israel.  Edom felt secure and they were proud of their themselves, but God would bring them down (v. 4). God didn’t pronounce judgment against Edom out of vengeance, He was bringing about justice (v. 10). Edom seemed glad to see Judah in trouble (v. 11-14).   The house of Jacob would survive, but the house of Esau would not (v. 17-18).

Something to experience

Just as there was no lasting security for Edom outside of God’s protection, there is none for us apart from God.  As with Edom, God knows all our sins and He will be just. But we should not be happy when someone experiences misfortune, even if we believe they deserve it.  One day God will judge each person by the way they’ve judged His people (v. 15). God is in control no matter what we see happening around us. And God who is just, will punish sin (v. 21).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Obadiah 1:1-4 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom. We have heard news from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, “Arise, and let’s rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made you small among the nations. You are greatly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, who says in his heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you mount on high as the eagle, and though your nest is set among the stars, I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord. 

Obadiah 1:10 “For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you, and you will be cut off forever.” 

Obadiah 1:11-14 11 “In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots for Jerusalem, even you were like one of them. 12 But don’t look down on your brother in the day of his disaster, and don’t rejoice over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction. Don’t speak proudly in the day of distress. 13 Don’t enter into the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. Don’t look down on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither seize their wealth on the day of their calamity. 14 Don’t stand in the crossroads to cut off those of his who escape. Don’t deliver up those of his who remain in the day of distress.” 

Obadiah 1:15 “For the day of the Lord is near all the nations! As you have done, it will be done to you. Your deeds will return upon your own head.” 

Obadiah 1:21 Saviors will go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

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Theme Jonah 1

Jonah and his mission.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jonah ran away from You (v. 3).

Something to think about

God told Jonah to go to Ninevah and preach against it because of its wickedness (v. 1-2). But instead Jonah ran way from the Lord and boarded a ship headed for Tarshish (v. 3). The storm that came upon the ship was determined to be caused by Jonah (v. 7).  First the sailors tried to save Jonah (v. 13).  But they ended up throwing him overboard (v. 14-15) as he said they should (v. 12).  A large fish swallowed Jonah (v. 17).

Something to experience

Unlike Jonah, when God gives us a job to do, no matter our fear, we need to obey Him. Because disobeying God can cause harm to not only us, but to those around us (v. 4). We cannot obey God and be running from him at the same time. (v. 8)

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jonah 1:1-2 1 Now the Lord’s word came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so, he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 

Jonah 1:4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty storm on the sea, so that the ship was likely to break up.

Jonah 1:7 They all said to each other, “Come! Let’s cast lots, that we may know who is responsible for this evil that is on us.” So, they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 

Jonah 1:8 Then they asked him, “Tell us, please, for whose cause this evil is on us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? Of what people are you?”

Jonah 1:12 He said to them, “Take me up, and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you; for I know that because of me this great storm is on you.”

Jonah 1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. 

Jonah 1:14-15 14 Therefore they cried to the Lord, and said, “We beg you, O Lord, we beg you, don’t let us die for this man’s life, and don’t lay on us innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they took up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased its raging. 

Jonah 1:17 The Lord prepared a huge fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

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Theme Jonah 2

Jonah prayed.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jonah prayed to You from inside the fish (v. 1).

Something to think about

Jonah acknowledged that God had answered his prayer (v. 2).  Jonah acknowledged his predicament (v. 3-5).  Jonah acknowledged that God had brought his life up from the pit (v. 6). Jonah acknowledged that when he thought his life was ending, he remembered God and prayed (v. 7).  Jonah promised to make good on his vow to God (v. 9). Then the Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land (v. 10).

Something to experience

We too can pray anywhere, at any time and God will hear (v. 1). Instead of waiting for a crisis before praying, we should make it a daily habit so our relationship with the Lord is more consistent. And by praying daily we can make sure God stays in His rightful place in our life.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord, his God, out of the fish’s belly. 

Jonah 2:2 He said, “I called because of my affliction to the Lord.  He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried.  You heard my voice.”

Jonah 2:3-5 3 “For You threw me into the depths, in the heart of the seas.  The flood was all around me.  All Your waves and Your billows passed over me.   I said, ‘I have been banished from Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’  The waters surrounded me, even to the soul.  The deep was around me.  The weeds were wrapped around my head.”

Jonah 2:6 “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains.  The earth barred me in forever: yet have You brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God.”

Jonah 2:7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord.  My prayer came in to You, into Your holy temple.”

Jonah 2:9 “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving.  I will pay that which I have vowed.  Salvation belongs to the Lord.”

Jonah 2:10 Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land.

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Theme Jonah 3

Mission accomplished.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Your Word came to Jonah a second time (v. 1).

Something to think about

For a second time the Lord instructed Jonah to proclaim His message to Nineveh (v. 2). This time Jonah obeyed the Lord (v. 3). On the first day there when he spoke to the Ninevites they believed (4-5). And the king of Nineveh also issued a proclamation (v. 6-9).  And when God saw the Ninevites turn from their evil ways He had compassion for them and didn’t bring destruction upon them as he had threatened (v. 10).

Something to experience

Just like Jonah, we too may be given more than one chance to obey and do a particular work God has called us to do (v. 1). If we share what we know about God we may be surprised at the response (v. 5). We need to do more than just listen to God’s Word we need to obey it. The purpose of God’s judgment is correction, not revenge (v. 10).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jonah 3:1 The Lord’s word came to Jonah the second time, saying, 

Jonah 3:2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I give you.”

Jonah 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord’s word. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey across. 

Jonah 3:4-5 Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried out, and said, “In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!”  The people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from their greatest even to their least. 

Jonah 3:6-9 The news reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. He made a proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, “Let neither man nor animal, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and animal, and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows whether God will not turn and relent, and turn away from his fierce anger, so that we might not perish?”

Jonah 3:10 God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. God relented of the disaster which he said he would do to them, and he didn’t do it.

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Theme Jonah 4

Anger versus compassion.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jonah was anger because You chose to not bring destruction to Nineveh (v. 1). 

Something to think about

God relented from sending calamity to Nineveh (v. 2). Then Jonah felt sorry for himself and wished for God to take away his life (v.3). Jonah found shade under a vine and sat down but then the sun made him uncomfortable. And again Jonah thought it would be better for him to die than live (v. 8).  Jonah was more concerned about the withering vine and his discomfort than what could have happened to Nineveh if they hadn’t repented (v. 9-11).

Something to experience

God freely gives us salvation if we come to Him, repent and put our trust in Him. We should give God glory and not seek attention for ourselves.  When we say yes to the Lord He will lead us. Then we can be sensitive to the needs of those around us. Only God knows the truly wicked so until He outs them, let’s pray for God to show them mercy and forgiveness.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jonah 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 

Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, wasn’t this what I said when I was still in my own country? Therefore, I hurried to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and You relent of doing harm.” 

Jonah 4:3 “Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beg You, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4:8 When the sun arose, God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4:9-11 God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?”  He said, “I am right to be angry, even to death.”  10 The Lord said, “You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. 11 Shouldn’t I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who can’t discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also, much livestock?”

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Prayer

Lord, thank You for protecting us.  Thank You for being a fair judge (Obadiah). Lord, I pray we will obey You (Jonah 1:4, 8).  Lord, I pray we will make it a daily habit to pray and spend time with You (Jonah 2). Lord, I pray we will seek to obey You the first time You tell us to do something (Jonah 3:1). Lord, I pray we will share our faith with those around us (Jonah 3:5).  Lord, I pray we will read, listen to and obey Your Word (Jonah 3).  Lord, thank You for making away for us to receive salvation through repentance and belief in Your Son. Lord, I pray we will submit to Your will and Your leadership.   Lord, I pray we will be sensitive to the needs of those around.  Lord, I pray we will pray for others and leave judgment to You. For only You know the truly wicked among us (Jonah 4).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

“May you and I pray for others and let God judge them.” <>< Dona