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Daily Devotion for November 22, 2017
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.
Build an Ark has a lighthearted calypso sound, but a serious message.
For Joy Among the Children of God
Heavenly Father, you take no pleasure in wickedness and evil has no place in your kingdom; the boastful will not stand in your sight. You hate all the workers of evil. You destroy those who lie and defraud; you abhor the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
Bless me that I will not be among them, for I would come into your house in the multitude of your mercy. In fear of you and in the hope of mercy, I worship you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness. Make Your way straight before my face. Let all those rejoice who put their trust in you; let them shout for joy, because you defend them; those who love your name, grant them mercy and joy.
And evermore let your word spread throughout the world, and make me your servant in this task. In Christ's name, I pray,
To Be Free of Anxiety
Lord Jesus, I have allowed myself to be filled with depression and negativity over what I see as my failures in life, where I have been disappointed in something I wanted from this world. I find myself hiding, full of anger and self-righteousness and self-pity, and have turned my eyes away from you.
Give me the hope I need and help me never to be afraid to begin again. You told your disciples to be anxious for nothing. I give to you my anxiety, Lord Christ, and lay my troubles upon your mighty back; and I pick up your burden, for you have promised that it is light, and that you are gentle and kind. Let me work for your glory and not my own, that the anxiety that comes from pride and vanity and fear of others might be gone from me, and I may serve you in joy and peace.
[I give my anxiety to Christ.]
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my 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.
Proverbs 15:27 (NKJV)
Those who acquire things unjustly gain trouble for their house,
but those who hate bribes will live.
Jonah 3:1-5 (ESV)
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
Notes on the Scripture
onah has now gone through a great purification. He rebelled against God’s will and suffered God’s wrath, a virtual death imposed upon him by the forces of nature. He showed, however, that those who are faithful to God and do not worship idols may be saved, even though they have sinned directly against God, for even the God of the Old Testament is merciful to those who love Him.
Having been chastised by his loving Father, Jonah now undertakes the commission given to him in Chapter 1. Yet he is reluctant, and for a reason, which will be fleshed out later in the book.
Jonah’s prophecy of doom is notably more embraced in the heathen land of Assyria than it had been in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Nineveh was, by this time, a magnificent city and the capital of Assyria, located in Mesopotamia (Iraq). But it was not God’s country. The Assyrians, like the Greeks and many heathen cultures, worshipped a pantheon of gods, represented by idols, of whom Ashur was the most important.
But the people (who, like the Hebrews, speak Aramaic) believed Jonah and did as he instructed them. This creates a strong contrast to Israel at the time. Israel had just split into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south, when Jeroboam rebelled against the rightful king, Rehoboam, and led the northern Kingdom of Israel into idol worship, despite Jonah’s futile protestations. But Assyria, a nation of idolaters, repents of its sins and acts in reverence of the one God. Things seem precisely backwards.
We once again see the important period of forty days appear. Nobody knows why this number is so important in Judeo-Christian history, but again and again it crops up as the correct length of time for penance and fasting; Noah’s flood lasted forty days, and even Christ fasted for forty days after His baptism. Possibly it simply represents a month in some early calendar, because it is reasonable and effective to construct a calendar of forty-day periods to follow the solar year.