The woe and destruction of the so-called "minor prophets" (the last books of the Old Testament) just … well … got to me.
It's not that there aren't wonderful, uplifting, Scriptures that cause my soul to soar in this books, there totally are!
A couple examples:
"He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."
"The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him."
And Jonah's prayer of repentance in Jonah, chapter 2, is as amazing and powerful as they come.
I think part of what I was supposed to learn through all the heaviness this week is that "life" is heavy in this fallen world. Just as life was especially heavy for the original target audience of these Scriptures. The Isrealites were being warned about coming catastrophe that was a result of their turning their backs on God. The Lord sent them into exile - out of the "land of milk and honey" and into cramped living conditions in foreign cities, under earthly rulers basically chosen by God to teach His people a lesson.
And yet, verses like the above are scattered through the "heavy" to bring some lightness and hope. Because … not matter how hard, or challenging, or difficult, or heavy, our life gets, God is always, always, always there for us. Through the life-giving, affirming words of Scripture (both Old and New Testament) and through the comfort we receive from the Holy Spirit after we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
So, as we start this new week of reading, and continue reading Jesus' own words, I'm challenging myself to remember this lesson I've learned from the minor prophets this week. That no matter what life brings, I always have hope in the one who never, ever deserts His sons and daughters. His family members, His children, who are created in His image and will someday worship Him face-to-face!
And, oh, what a day that will be :)
Anyway … that got more than a little long! Thanks so much for sticking with me.
Here are our reading assignments this week:
11/9 : Matthew 16:1 - 26:56
11/10 : Matthew 26:57 - Luke 1:80
11/11 : Luke 2:1 - 9:62
11/12 : Luke 10:1 - 20:19
11/13 : Luke 20:20 - John 5:47
11/14 : John 6:1 - 15:17
11/15 : John 15:18 - Acts 6:7
A little related side-note : when we get to the book of John on Thursday, I'm going to finish up a book I've been reading on the same book: "The Parable Of Joy." It has the words of this entire gospel within it's pages, along with commentary/teaching, so I'll still be getting the reading in, but I'll be able to combine a couple of reading projects and make progress in each. If the book of John is appealing to you, I highly recommend this book! I'm a couple of chapters in and it's really great.
Have a great week and enjoy your reading!