We humans are a funny bunch. We love to talk about fairness and justice and everybody getting what they deserve – just as long as we get to decide just what that means.
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Jonah is a prime example. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the folks there that if they don’t make some big changes, He’s going to destroy the whole place. Jonah’s response is to hop on a ship going as far [...]
When Jonah was thrown into the sea, a big fish swallowed him up at God’s bidding.
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Jonah must have thought that death indeed was going to be the only way to escape the mission to Nineveh. But the big fish (not called a whale in the book) was an instrument of salvation for the prophet. Unlike Jonah, this creature responded promptly and obediently to God’s commands (Jon. 1:17, 2:10).
God’s providence worked in an amazing way here, and, however [...]
In Jonah 1, the Lord wants to halt Jonah’s escape and so He stirs up such a severe storm that it threatens shipwreck.
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The seamen call on their gods for help. Due to the severity of the storm, they feel that someone must have provoked the anger of the gods. They cast lots to decide who will be first to volunteer information about himself that might expose such an offense. For the casting of lots, each [...]
Not much is known about Jonah or his family background.
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Second Kings 14:25 tells that he lived in the northern part of Israel and ministered during the eighth century B.C. The same text reveals that Jonah predicted a territorial expansion of Israel’s kingdom.
Nineveh was historically one of the three great cities of Assyria, an important country situated by the Tigris River. Because God is the Lord of all nations and all peoples are accountable to Him [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Jonah 1-4, Ps. 139:1-12, Isa. 42:5, Rev. 10:6, Matt. 12:39-41, 2 Chron. 36:15-17.
Memory Text: “‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord’” (Jonah 2:9, NIV).
Key Thought: The book of Jonah reveals, among other things, that God is more willing to forgive others than we often are.
The story of Jonah, this rather unusual messenger of God, is one of the best known in the Bible. The prophet had been [...]
Al Lang Field is one of the old spring training fields in St. Petersburg Florida. It is one of the places where Babe Dahlgren probably played.
Babe Dahlgren was enjoying the off season after winning the 1939 World Series with the New York Yankees baseball club. Back home in San Francisco he decided to meet with a local batting instructor for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to get some friendly tips. When he re-joined the Yankees [...]
“Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 239.
As a [...]
Anatoly [ah-nah-TOH-lee] was tired.
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He had been working for hours to share pamphlets and Bible study cards in his assigned territory with little success. He wanted to go home, but he had promised God that he would visit every home he could, so he continued to work.
Anatoly, 13, lives in Moldova, a small country west of Russia. His shoulders slumped as he approached the last house on the road. He whispered a prayer and knocked [...]
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, just as you have said!”(Amos 5:14, NASB).
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[Thought questions for Seek the Lord and Live! May 1, 2013]
1. Making evil appear good and good evil. How was it possible for Israel to stumble in sin and make their relationship with God a mockery? Couldn’t they remember the mighty works God had done on their behalf? [...]
The prophet turns from the dark picture of the people’s sinfulness
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and the resulting judgments to the glorious promises of the future restoration (Amos 9:11-15). The day of the Lord, previously described as the day of punishment (Amos 5:18), is now a day of salvation because salvation, not punishment, is God’s last word to His people. However, salvation will come after punishment, not instead of it.
Amid all the gloom and doom, Amos does close his [...]
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,
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‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12, NIV). How are we to understand the meaning of these verses?
In Amos [...]
Key Thought: Amos shows us that there are only two choices; life and death, and the stark difference between the two.
[Teaching plan for Seek the Lord and Live April 29, 2013]
1. Have a volunteer read Amos 5:14,15
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. How can we discern the difference between what is good and what is evil? How could we define the two concepts?
C. Personal Application: What [...]