Tag Archives: sovereignty

Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 15)

Don’t you hate it when you are only one who thinks your idea is a great one?  Jonah volunteers to be tossed overboard and is sure that the sea will calm down when it claims his life.  But Jonah did not count on the consciences of pagan sailors who stood with dropped jaws as they heard of Jonah’s heresy.  Words are cheap and Jonah’s orthodox declaration (“I am a Hebrew and I worship  the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land”) was clearly contradicted by his silly attempt to escape this God!

The sailors do not immediately grab Jonah and hurl him over the side.  They once more grab their oars and try to row back to land.  But in vain.  They needed to play their part in this drama of sacrifice and redemption.

Their failure to rescue themselves drives them to cry out to Jonah’s God!  And what an elegant prayer!  “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”  What a prayer!

Their prayer was much more orthodox than Jonah’s life!  Notice several aspects of their prayer:

(1)  They pray to Jonah’s God!

(2)  They recognize that He is a righteous Judge who will hold sinners accountable.

(3)  They acknowledge that He, Jonah’s God, had done as He pleased.

With a modicum of words, Jonah had unwittingly led these men to his God.  And all he wants to do is go drown.  Sad.  (to be continued)

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Jonah


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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 13)

Someone has said, “There is only one commandment for those who don’t believe in Jesus and it is this:  Watch those who do!”  The pagan sailors are not attracted to Jonah’s orthodoxy, but are outraged that he could be running away from such a God!  They put two and two together and conclude that Jonah’s God, the One who made the sea and the dry land, did not care to be disobeyed — and had done something about it!  HE had sent the storm.

As they had their theological discussion, the sea “was getting rougher and rougher.”  They ask Jonah, “What should we do TO YOU to make the sea calm down for us?”  These pagan sailors were no dummies.  And they realized that Jonah’s God was no impotent deity.  HE had pursued His servant and HE got his servant’s attention.  Yes, innocent sailors had gotten embroiled in the mix, but Jonah’s God was sovereign over that as well.

If one were to unit-read the book of Jonah (reading it straight through at one sitting), it seems apparent at several points that he wants to die!  He has these suicidal ideations a number of times.  Here he volunteers to be tossed over the side as a human bromide to calm an acidic sea!  Jonah is certain that throwing him overboard will placate his angry God.  And he is sorta right. (to be continued)



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Posted by on August 13, 2017 in Jonah


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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 93)

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-7-32-42-am
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in sovereignty


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Great Quote from J. Vernon McGee: “You Don’t Have a Universe!”

“This is God’s universe, and God does things His way.You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe!” screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-8-20-29-am


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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Creator


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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 2)

I’ve never been to S. Korea! But I’ve been invited Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.25.52 AMto teach a course othe book of Psalms at the Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island.
So, I want to think about a number of Psalms and begin thinking through what my course will look like. Today’s Psalm is Psalm 2 which reads:


1Why do the nations conspireScreen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.41.40 AM
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”

4The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in the book of Psalms


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The Joy of Unit-Reading #27 (the book of Ruth)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that unit-readingScreenshot 2016-01-26 06.31.05 is reading straight through a book of the Bible. I’ve been making some progress in doing just that, and today’s book is the Old Testament book of Ruth.

I’m very weak in the Old Testament, so I’m thankful that I could unit-read Ruth.  What strikes me here is the pain that Naomi experienced and how the Lord gives her the freedom to lament that pain without punishing her.

May I ask you — what pain are you going through?  Do you believe God is big enough to handle your hurts and despair?  He is!

Your thoughts?

Screenshot 2016-01-26 06.35.13

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in unit-reading


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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 71)

Psalm 71Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.49.25 AM

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendor all day long.

Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
    those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue him and seize him,
    for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
    come quickly, God, to help me.Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.52.59 AM
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
    may those who want to harm me
    be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
    of your saving acts all day long—
    though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
    I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
    and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
    you who have done great things.
    Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
    many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
    and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
    Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
    when I sing praise to you—
    I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
    all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
    have been put to shame and confusion.

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in the book of Psalms


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