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Daily Devotion for August 23, 2014
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
For “Oldies Saturday” we have something extra good: Elvis and the Jordanaires performing “It Is No Secret What God Can Do.”
Another day is through.
Someone slipped and fell.
Was that someone you?
You may have longed for added strength,
Your courage to renew.
Do not be disheartened,
For I have news for you.
It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.
There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone.
Always feel at home,
Wherever you may go.
There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side.
Take Him at His promise,
Don't run away and hide.
Music and Lyrics by Stuart Hamblen (1954)
Prayer to do Good
If there be some weaker one,
Give me strength to help him on;
If a blinder soul there be
Let me guide him nearer thee;
Make my mortal dreams come true
With the work I fain would do;
Clothe with life the weak intent,
Let me be the thing I meant;
Let me find in Thy employ,
Peace that dearer is than joy;
Out of self to love be led,
And to Heaven acclimated,
Until all things sweet and good
Seem my natural habitude.
Teach me Your Way
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever more. Great is your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of hell. All praise be to You, Oh God my Redeemer, today and forever.
[Unite my divided heart to love you completely.]
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
You Can Run, but . . .
Anyone who truly understands who God is and has a proper respect for Him, knows you cannot run from God and that obedience to God is always the best course for us. You would think a prophet of the Lord would know that. Jonah, probably knew deep in his heart the truth, but the sin of rebellion makes one irrational. One might suppose Jonah thought that God might just over look his rebellion. He was to shortly learn the hard way that God cannot be ignored and he cannot be avoided.
~ Cooper Abrams
Jonah 1:1-3 (ESV)
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
Israel after Solomon (20): Jonah Sent to Assyria
There were a few books that the councils who edited and collated the Bible did not know quite to do with, and Jonah is one of them. It is impossible to classify. Five such books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon) were lumped together and called the “Wisdom Books”. Jonah, however, was put in with the Minor Prophets, although it is nothing like the prophetic books.
Jonah was, indeed, a prophet who lived in the Northern Kingdom and served Jeroboam II. (2 Kings 14:25-26) But unlike the 16 other prophetic books (see Index of Prophetic Books), Jonah pronounces very little prophecy; what little prophecy he makes concerns Assyria rather than Israel; and his single dire warning to “repent or die” is actually heeded!
Nineveh was the great capital of the Assyrian Empire. When Jonah opens, it is already becoming clear to the prophets of Israel (three of whom are Amos, Hosea, and Jonah himself) that Assyria will conquer and destroy the Northern Kingdom. When God tells Jonah to travel to Nineveh and try to save it from His wrath, Jonah runs away. We can see patriotism as his primary motive; he hates Assyria the way a modern-day Israeli might feel about Iran.
But the name Jonah means “dove”, a symbol of the Holy Spirit and peace. Remember that Noah sent out three doves from the Ark to look for dry land (and the second returned with an olive branch). (Genesis 8:6-12) If we follow the symbolism, we see the first strong indication that God, who hitherto has restricted His covenant with humanity to the Hebrews, might also intend to save the Gentiles. The book of Jonah has almost nothing to do with Israel: it is a fledgling prophecy of Christ.
This leads us to a second motive for Jonah’s attempt to avoid God's mission: He is reluctant to extend God's covenant beyond the Hebrews.
A by-product of God's exclusive blood-covenant with the offspring of Abraham was a proprietary attitude towards God. The Jews and only the Jews were the children of God. They were profoundly separatist; by the time of Christ, a Jew would not so much as look into the door of a Gentile's house. This attitude will continue to crop up decades after Christ's death, when groups of Jewish Christians repeatedly insist that Gentiles be circumcised before baptism; see, e.g., Acts 15, when the Council of Jerusalem had to intervene.