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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 10)

Let’s think about Jonah’s first orthodox statement:  “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”  He is compelled to own up to his identity.  He is literally forced to acknowledge his religion and his God.

Instead of being the willing missionary God called Jonah to be, he winds up being having to identify himself to pagan sailors who have run out of religious options.

“I am a Hebrew” — Did these sailors know anything about the covenant people of God?  Perhaps they had heard of God’s exploits with His chosen ones.

I know very little about the chronology of the book of Jonah, but here is what I found:  It appears that the events of the book of Jonah took place around or just after the reign of King Jeroboam II, who reigned from 786-746 BC. So the events of the book of Jonah most likely occurred during the 8th century BC.  it appears that the author of Jonah was familiar with the book of Joel (Jonah 3:9 refers to Joel 2:14), written around 400 BC.  So, it seems likely that the book of Jonah was written between 500 BC and 200 BC, though due to themes that are present within the book, the most likely date of composition is sometime during the 5th or 4th centuries BC. (http://gracecommentary.com/jonah-date/)

If one asks, when and how was Israel conquered by the Assyrians, we learn the following:  Assyria’s conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel began approximately 740 BC under King Pul. First Chronicles 5:26 notes, “So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.” These tribes, located east of the Jordan River, were the first ones conquered by Assyria.

Nearly 20 years later, about 722 BC, the capital city, Samaria, was overtaken by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser V. After first forcing tribute payments, Shalmaneser later laid siege to the city when it refused to pay. Following a three-year siege, 2 Kings 17:5-6 notes that, “in the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” And in 701 BC the Assyrians marched south into Judah; however, they were unable to capture Jerusalem due to the Lord’s intervention (2 Chronicles 32:22). (https://www.gotquestions.org/Israel-conquered-by-Assyria.html)

From this information should we conclude that Israel has already been conquered by Assyria or that it was soon to take place?

The Assyrians of today are the indigenous Aramaic-speaking descendants of the ancient Assyrian people, one of the earliest civilizations emerging in the Middle East, and have a history spanning over 6750 years.  Assyrians are not Arabian, we are not Kurdish, our religion is not Islam.  The Assyrians are Christian, with our own unique language, culture and heritage.  Although the Assyrian empire ended in 612 B.C., history is replete with recorded details of the continuous presence of the Assyrian people till the present time. (http://nineveh.com/whoarewe.htm) (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Jonah

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 16)

Psalm 16

A miktam of David.Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 5.26.24 AM

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Psalm 16

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 106)

Psalm 106

1Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 6.04.42 AM
Praise the Lord.[a]

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

2
Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
or fully declare his praise?
3
Blessed are those who act justly,
who always do what is right.

4
Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
5
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.

6
We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
7
When our ancestors were in Egypt,Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 6.07.44 AM
they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.[b]
8
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make his mighty power known.
9
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
he led them through the depths as through a desert.
10
He saved them from the hand of the foe;
from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
11
The waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them survived.
12
Then they believed his promises
and sang his praise.

13
But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14
In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.
15
So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease among them.

16
In the camp they grew envious of Moses
and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord.
17
The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
it buried the company of Abiram.
18
Fire blazed among their followers;
a flame consumed the wicked.
19
At Horeb they made a calf
and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
20
They exchanged their glorious God
for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
21
They forgot the God who saved them,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22
miracles in the land of Ham
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23
So he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him
to keep his wrath from destroying them.

24
Then they despised the pleasant land;
they did not believe his promise.
25
They grumbled in their tents
and did not obey the Lord.
26
So he swore to them with uplifted hand
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27
make their descendants fall among the nations
and scatter them throughout the lands.

28
They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
29
they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30
But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was checked.
31
This was credited to him as righteousness
for endless generations to come.
32
By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord,
and trouble came to Moses because of them;
33
for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
and rash words came from Moses’ lips.

34
They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them,
35
but they mingled with the nations
and adopted their customs.
36
They worshiped their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to false gods.
38
They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was desecrated by their blood.
39
They defiled themselves by what they did;
by their deeds they prostituted themselves.

40
Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
and abhorred his inheritance.
41
He gave them into the hands of the nations,
and their foes ruled over them.
42
Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
43
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
44
Yet he took note of their distress
when he heard their cry;
45
for their sake he remembered his covenant
and out of his great love he relented.
46
He caused all who held them captive
to show them mercy.

47
Save us, Lord our God,
and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

48
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Let all the people say, “Amen!”

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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What on Earth Are We to Do about Unbelief? (Part 6a of 10)

FirefoxScreenSnapz689We have been asking the question, how should we respond to the unbelief in the world?  We are not to wring our hands and become disillusioned, fall into despair, or give up.  Rather, we have seen from the little epistle of Jude that we are to, first, keep ourselves strong in the faith (vv. 1-4).  We must also be aware of attacks on the Christian faith (vv. 3-4) and be prepared to do battle for the truths of Christianity (vv. 3-4).  We must acknowledge the biblical truth that the God who saves is also a God who destroys (vv. 5-7).  We saw in our last post that we must realize the dangers of false teaching (vv. 8-10).

Let’s look at a sixth part of our response to unbelief in our world and it is this (it’s in three parts) —

Step #6a-  We must see that false teachers are simply repeating the errors of history (v. 11).

11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

Jude says that these false teachers have “taken the way of Cain . . . rushed for profit into Balaam’s error . . . [and] have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” (v. 11)

Let’s notice first of all:  (1) They have “taken the way of Cain”:  Cain’s “way” is described in Genesis 4.  Adam and Eve’s two sons, Cain and Abel, had different professions.  Abel kept flocks; Cain worked the soil.  Both bring offerings to FirefoxScreenSnapz698the Lord — Cain brought vegetables; Abel brought the firstborn from his flock.  We read, “The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” (vv. 4b-5).  Instead of asking the Lord how he could improve his offering, Cain became very angry.  He did not resist the sin that was crouching at his door (v. 7).  With premeditation Cain takes his brother Abel out to the field and kills him there (v. 9).  Cain is then put under a curse by the Lord and goes out from the Lord’s presence (v. 16).

Perhaps Jude’s point is that these false teachers are motivated by jealousy towards God’s people, want to set their own terms as to what should be acceptable offerings to the Lord, and are headed on a metaphorical pathway to murder!

Questions:
1.  We read in Hebrews 11:4-  “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”  How would Abel had known that his was a “better offering”?

2.  How does Abel still “speak,” do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in unbelief

 

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