As you begin this week’s reading of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, you may be tempted to think there is little or nothing for you to learn from these books. They are a bit hard to read and seem written for someone else’s day. They may even seem a bit boring. When it comes to boring sermons, we can take a lesson from President Eyring.
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Jonah is much more than a fish story, but the story of a man who is cast down into a boat, down into the hull of the boat, down into a big fish, and at last, covered in seaweed in the utter darkness is rescued. We may see ourselves here when life bears down on us, and we know who the ultimate rescuer is.
Why does it matter so much that we live in a time when a prophet is on the earth? How is it the Lord’s lovingkindness to us? Why does the Lord make known all of his secrets to His prophets? Duane Boyce and Kimberly White tell us why it matters.
Abraham’s posterity were called to be a blessing to “all the families of the earth”. And yet, at the time of Amos, they were hardly acting like a “chosen people.” They were not only ignoring the words of the prophets, and breaking their vertical covenant with God, but they were oppressing the needy, and breaking their horizontal covenant to care for their fellow man.
Hosea may not be a book you have spent much time in, but this prophet gives us the description of the covenant relationship that perfectly reflects that a covenant with the Lord is not just a contract (You promise and I promise), but so much more.
The Lord commanded Hosea to name his firstborn son Jezreel, a word whose meaning sums up the message of this great northern kingdom prophet.
Nebuchadnezzar wanted to take Daniel's talent and make him a full-fledged, card-carrying Babylonian, but that would involve a substantial forgetting of who he really was. After all, he was a covenant child of God. And though Babylon was so powerful and beautiful, it was also so worldly that its very name would become ever after a code word in scripture for the world.