3-9 October 2010

Faithful Servants

  • READ MORE Sunday  03 October 2010
    Luke 17:5-10

    "The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!' The Lord replied, 'If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea", and it would obey you.'" (v.5-6)

  • READ MORE Monday  04 October 2010
    Jonah 1:1 - 2:20

    "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying 'Go at once to Ninevah'... But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord." (v.1, 3a)

  • READ MORE Tuesday  05 October 2010
    Jonah 3

    "The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 'Get up, go to Nineveh that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.'" (v.1-2)Background The story of Jonah started in yesterday's reading and it records God's call to the prophet, which had to be made twice. God did not give up on Jonah. Not only was Nineveh an unpleasant city in Jonah's eyes (it was the capital city of the much feared Assyrian Empire), it was enormous. It is difficult to imagine a city so large that it would take three days to walk across it. However, Jonah was three days in the belly of the large fish (Jonah 1:17). We are being told that it would have taken that long to traverse Nineveh, and Jonah might well have felt much the same about that journey as he felt in the fish. Jonah indicated his intention to pay to the Lord what belongs to the Lord (Jonah 2:9) and he did indeed set out for Nineveh, and when he got there he set out to walk across the city. God spoke to Jonah about the wickedness of the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1:2), and Jonah cried out to them that the city would be overthrown in 40 days. The number 40 appears quite often in the Bible. The great flood lasted for 40 days (Genesis 7:17); God's people wandered in the desert for 40 years after the escape from Egypt (Deuteronomy 8:2); Jesus spent 40 days in the desert after his baptism, being tempted (Mark 1:13). For the readers of the story of Jonah, 40 days is a reminder of God testing and renewing those being tested and challenged. But it didn't take 40 days though. The people listened to Jonah and they responded. Sackcloth and ashes have traditionally been linked with people showing great remorse. They are symbols of repentance, or turning round to God's way. Jesus referred to sackcloth and ashes when he was warning cities which did not repent (Matthew 11:20-21). This behaviour of the Ninevites caused a change in God's intention to destroy them. There are some other times when we read about such a change of God's mind, for example with regard to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). To Ponder How do you feel about God's mind being changed? Do you think it was Jonah's behaviour, or the Ninevites', which caused that change of mind? Why? Bible notes author: Revd Stephen Burgess

  • READ MORE Wednesday  06 October 2010
    Jonah 4

    "God said to Jonah ... "You are concerned about the bush ... And should I not be concerned about Nineveh?'" (v.9-11)

  • READ MORE Thursday  07 October 2010
    Malachi 3:13 - 4:2a

    "The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act." (v.16-17)

  • READ MORE Friday  08 October 2010
    Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2

    "Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord." (1:14)

  • READ MORE Saturday  09 October 2010
    Joel 3:12-21

    "On that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord." (v.18)

  • Sign up for e-newslettersKeep in touch with what interests you