C2C Oct. 2-8

October 2 — Jonah, the Jerk — Jonah 1-4.  How would you like to go down in history being known as a reluctant messenger for God?  Jonah did.  This true story is filled with striking contrasts.  It took a pagan ship captain to tell God’s running prophet to pray: “call out to your god!” (1:6).  Jonah told the pagan sailors, “I fear the LORD” (1:9) and the sailors were genuinely and “exceedingly afraid” when they heard that Yahweh had “made the sea” (1:10) and when they saw the sea become calm after Jonah was cast overboard (1:16).  There was a big contrast between Jonah’s reluctance to obey God and the Ninevites’ believing and repenting at his warning message.  Two times, pouting Jonah asked God to take his life (“it is better for me to die than to live”)—once after God failed to punish Nineveh (4:3), and once after God destroyed the plant that was giving Jonah shade (4:8).  This story should make us ask ourselves if we are acting like Jonah in not being concerned about, and reaching out to those perishing around us without Christ.  Let’s not go down in history as reluctant messengers!

October 3 — Micah — Micah 1-4.  The prophet Micah (meaning, “Who is like Yahweh?”) lived during the time of Isaiah and Hosea.  He predicted the destruction of both Israel (north) and Judah (south) because of their sins.  More than 135 years before Jerusalem would be destroyed, he predicted, “you shall go to Babylon” (4:10), but in the next sentence, he gave a future hope: “There you will be rescued” (4:10).  God’s purpose in punishment for Israel, Judah, and us, is restoration.  Micah projects even further into the future to the Millennial Kingdom of “the latter days” (4:1) when “the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore” (4:7).  God has led the Jews back to Israel in our day but He is not their supreme ruler yet.

October 4 — Key Verses — Micah 5-7.  One verse in each chapter of our reading today stands out to me.  First, over 700 years before its fulfillment, Micah predicted the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem (5:2).  Secondly, a nutshell behavior requirement is given in 6:8, that we are to “do justice … love kindness … walk humbly with your God.”  The last is a question of wonder: “Who is a God like you …?” who forgives sin, doesn’t stay angry with us, and delights in love (7:18).  Make this question your mantra today as you are reminded of our privilege of being in God’s family: “Who is a God like you?

October 5 — Nahum — Nahum 1-3.  Nahum serves as a sequel to Jonah.  Both prophesied about the coming destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire to the north of Israel.  Jonah prophesied against Nineveh sometime between 782 and 753 BC, and those Gentiles responded in repentance and were spared the disaster that was due in 40 days.  Their repentance didn’t last to the next generation, however, so God sent Nahum over 90 years later to predict their certain destruction, which happened in 612 BC, as they surrendered their empire to Babylon (“… be sure your sin will find you out” — Num. 32:23).  God is very long-suffering but His justice is sure.

October 6 — Habakkuk — Hab. 1-3.  The prophet Habakkuk lived before Babylon’s invasion of Judah and was probably a contemporary of Jeremiah.  Judah had been attacked and suppressed by Assyria for many years, and Habakkuk cried out to God for help.  One of his concerns was to ask why God allowed evil to prevail for so long.  After events like a massacre of people in the news, people today ask the same question: “O LORD, how long …?” (1:2).  It may look like God is tolerating sin, so we cry out for justice.  However, are we as demanding for God’s justice regarding our own sins?  No, we delight in His mercy (“in wrath remember mercy”—3:2).  Part of God’s purpose for delaying justice is to precipitate repentance.  When He convicts you of a sin today, thank Him for His mercy and turn to Him in obedience.

October 7 — Zephaniah — Zeph. 1-3.  Zephaniah prophesied along with Jeremiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk during the reign of the righteous King Josiah, not long before Judah’s fall to Babylon.  The king’s reforms were good but the hearts of most of the people did not change.  Many people in Jerusalem were complacent, “who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill’” (1:12).  They had misinterpreted God’s merciful patience as tolerance of sin and His blessings as circumstantial.  We must not fall into that kind of attitude.  Another bad attitude was seen in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh with a nation that relied on its own strength for security and “said in her heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else’” (2:15).  “It’s all about me!”  We Christians should stand out in dramatic contrast to the egocentric culture in which we live.

October 8 — Haggai — Hag. 1-2.  The prophet Haggai was part of a group of Jews returning to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon.  This was after an earlier group attempted to start rebuilding the temple but were stopped by outside opposition.  In the interim, people had focused on their own well-being.  Haggai’s message called them to refocus, putting emphasis back on bringing glory to God by rebuilding the temple (1:8) instead of beautifying their own houses (1:9).  This is a good reminder for us to check our priorities, too.  How much of our time, effort, and finances are concentrated on making ourselves comfortable compared to how much we are intent on pleasing God and showing His greatness?  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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