Now we’re hovering over a period in Bible history after the great kings David and Solomon when Israel was sinking spiritually. (Someone decided that we didn’t need a special plane for this; just a special helicopter.) Israel had been in the Promised Land for more than 200 years and yet they had not completely driven out the pagan nations, as God had commanded them. Instead they began to blend in with them and to mix the worship of the Lord God with the worship of pagan gods. (more…)
Archive for February, 2012
Imagine that we have boarded a special airplane flying over biblical history. We start from the beginning in Genesis and we fly over the days of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And we fly over the days of Joseph, Moses in the Exodus. And there are the days of Joshua and then the Judges. As we fly over the days of the kings Saul, David and Solomon we begin our initial descent to the period where God raised up some special spokesmen called prophets. After the death of King Solomon the Israel split into two kingdoms … the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah, where Jerusalem was located). This was a time when the people of God were unfaithful to Him. Their religion had become cold, and they needed revival. So God sent the prophets to preach to them. (more…)
Note: In the morning services on Sunday, February 19, the Travis Avenue Baptist Church will be sharing together in the Lord’s Supper. I thought it would be helpful to remind us of its powerful significance.
I recall my days as a boy playing with my buddies in the neighborhood. Typically about dark I could hear my mom or dad calling out, “Mike, time to come in. Supper’s ready.” As I ran in the door I knew the first stop was to be the bathroom sink where I washed off the layers of dirt and germs that had accumulated through the day. Before I sat down to the meal with my family I would be thoroughly examined to see if I had really scrubbed up, or if I had merely waved my hand under the faucet. Only when the scrutinizing eye of my mom or dad was satisfied did I get to sit down to eat. (more…)
Jonah 1:1 – The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:
The whole story begins and ends with the word of the Lord. The Lord speaks to Jonah in v.1. And the last words of the book in Jonah 4 are the Lord speaking. And in between Jonah 1:1 and 4:11 we have the Lord clearly orchestrating everything according to His sovereign gracious purposes.
You notice in Jonah 1:1 that the name “LORD” is in all caps. When you see that in the OT you should know that the writer is indicating that this is the proper name of the One True God, Jehovah… the great God of Israel.
The events that unfold in the four chapters of Jonah are all orchestrated by the sovereign, gracious God. Everything is initiated by Him. The intentions and actions of the Lord is the main point of the story. The hero of the Book of Jonah is not Jonah or the big fish that swallows him. The hero is the gracious God. (more…)
They were an odd bunch of guys, by and large. We might call their behavior at times bizarre; their communications sometimes leave us scratching our heads. They came from varied backgrounds. Some of them moved in elite circles of high influence; others came from more common walks of life, like farming. Most of them were fiercely faithful to God though some struggled with obeying God’s call upon their lives. But they were all mightily used by God at strategic times in the history of His people.
I’m speaking, of course, of the Old Testament prophets of God. Not all of them left written Scripture behind; but those who did fill roughly one-third of the pages of our Old Testament. Their writings have been grouped in a broad category of Old Testament books simply called “The Prophets.” We cannot have any real grasp of God’s dealings with ancient Israel and the surrounding nations without some understanding of the messages of the Prophets. (more…)