Obadiah is one of the few prophets that speak entirely to a nation other than Israel. Although God’s people often turn from Him, they are still His Chosen People. Like a loving Father, though He may discipline and rebuke His children when they do wrong, He will always protect them and will deal with those who mistreat them. This is the case with Edom, a nation that was related to the Israelites. They were descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother. As Israel was going through hard times (many were taken captive to Babylon), instead of Edom helping their relatives they gloated and often attacked and looted their homes. God does not look kindly on those who mistreat His people and they will suffer the consequences. Even though Obadiah was speaking specifically to the Edomites, it may be something to take note for other nations and peoples as well.Continue reading “Obadiah: Speaking to Neighboring Nations”
Idols and justice are common themes in the Bible. It is in our society as well, but idolatry comes more in the form of pride and greed. Who or what do we put first in our lives? And, how do we treat others? These are two questions that God was addressing through Amos.Continue reading “Amos: Greed and Justice”
Hosea has a message for Israel that I think can also apply to this country (and perhaps to the world): Turn away from your idols and turn back to God. The country was in relative prosperity, but that was soon to change. As I read through Hosea, it keeps reminding me of the world we live in. People are accepting immorality as the “new normal.” God is being forgotten and some are even being hostile toward Him and anyone who believes in Him. Persecution is prevalent in many countries and it may not be long before it is here too. Laws are being passed that go against God and His righteousness. People are all about what is comfortable for them and don’t want to accept consequences. We live in a “me” society. Much like Israel was in Hosea’s time. And God had a message for them.
As we go to prayer, what is our attitude? Do we humble ourselves before God as the Bible says? Do we go off to a room and close the door or have these long drawn out prayers so that others can see what a great prayer we are? Do we acknowledge who God is or just ask him for things? When we ask, do we truly believe He can give us what we ask for and trust that He will always do what is best? Do we tell Him what a great Father He is and come to Him as Sons and Daughters? Do we come to Him with a broken heart and confess our sins and be repentive? Continue reading “Attitude in Prayer”
Nebuchadnezzar? Praising God? The great king of the Babylonian empire who had a large golden statue of himself be built to worship? Yes, that one. Babylon was one of the greatest empires in history that conquered most of the known world at the time, beginning around 626 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar ruled from 605-562 B.C., being one of the greatest emperors known. He was also ruthless. He destroyed Jerusalem and tore down it’s walls, looted the temple and brought the Israelite people into exile, killing many and enslaving many. When he has his dream, he asked his counselors not only to interpret his dreams but to tell him what it was! When they could not, he threatened to cut them all to pieces and burn down their houses. He executed any who would not bow down and worship his image of gold. But, God revealed the dream to Daniel and its interpretation giving him favor with the king. The king let his pride get the best of him, and God brought him down and showed him His majesty and power. When the king was at his lowest he realized how great God was and turned to Him. God used Daniel and used the king’s circumstances to reveal His greatness and to bring him to righteousness. I believe that Nebuchadnezzar was saved at this time. Only God knows for sure. God will use many ways to draw people to Him. He is a God of mercy. No matter what you have done in the past, where you are at in life, He seeks your love and wants you to be saved. He sent His Son to die on the cross, that our sins may be forgiven. He uses other people to be a witness so others would see the truth and turn to him. Sometimes He will allow us to stumble from our own selfishness and pride to a low point to bring us to surrender to Him, so that we can have eternal life. He uses all things for good, so that we can become His children. This is the prayer of Nebuchanezzar (or, more like a proclamation of how great God is) after he was brought down by God and restored. Continue reading “Nebuchadnezzar’s Prayer of Praise”