Archive for the 'Bible Journey' Category

Bible Journey > Malachi

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Malachi as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Malachi means “My Messenger”
  • Hard to date most likely between 515 – 433 B.C. (Post exile, post rebuilt temple, around time of Ezra/Nehemiah)
  • When we see how faithfully God loves the prompted response is to want more
  • God is not amused by half-hearted worship
  • True teaching enhances life and bad teaching messes up lives
  • God inhabits the smallest details of marriage
  • Universalism and people who can’t deal with a judgmental God have been around for a long time
  • The context of Malachi 3:10 is robbing God. Yeah, test God with the tithe and see if he doesn’t provide, but the alternative is to steal from God.
  • Ends with some powerful prophecy about Jesus: “healing in his wings” “Elijah will prepare the way”

Bible Journey > Zechariah

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Zechariah as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers”
  • What an awesome name. Scripture says to remember the sabbath (Ex. 20:8) and to look on the tassels and remember Yahweh’s commands (Num. 16:39) and yet we are reminded that “Yahweh remembers”
  • A contemporary of Haggai (Post exile, circa 5:20 BC)
  • This book is full of parallels:
    • A return from exile and a return to God
    • A rebuilding of the temple and a rebuilding of the nation
  • “You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit” (4:7)
  • Zechariah is full of apocalyptic imagery: Lamp stands, books, horses.
    • Each image has a meaning and an interpretation.
  • 2 things God judges: Liars and thieves
  • God doesn’t accept worship acts with out a worship heart:
    • “When you held days of fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You’re interested in religion, I’m interested in people” (7:5-6)
  • Typical prophet stuff:
    • “Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now:’Treat one another justly.
      Love your neighbors.
      Be compassionate with each other.
      Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor.
      Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ (7:8-10)
  • God changes people from bad news people to good news people
  • “Keep your lives simple and honest.” Decree of God (8:17)
  • The humble king comes riding on a donkey
  • Like tools rebuilt the temple, God uses people the put the world back together
  • God kills two-thrids but and the remaining third gets thrown into a refiner’s fire.
  • The Big Day is coming full of hope and dread.

Bible Journey > Haggai

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Haggai as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Haggai means “Feast” or “Festive” or maybe “Party?”
  • Haggai writes after the Babylonia captivity. Contemporary of Zechariah
  • He is very precise with his dates:
    • August 29, 520 B.C. (1:1)
    • September 21 (1:15)
    • October 17 (2:1)
    • December 18 (2:10, 20)
  • Likewise the book is fragmented as though Haggai is listing his sermon notes from those dates, but we don’t get the whole story.
  • People actually listened to Haggai. What made him effective when most prophets were ignored or killed? Perhaps because he appealed to the leadership (Joshua and Zerubbabel) specifically rather than everyone generally?
  • A cursory glance at this book seems to yield the message:
    • Build God a pretty, expensive building
    • God will give you monetary and physical blessing (more land, more crops, more wine, more gold) if you do
    • God will take take away these things if you don’t
  • I don’t totally understand the whole “holy” “unholy” analogy/argumentation he makes.

Bible Journey > Zephaniah

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Zephaniah as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Zephaniah means, “Yahweh had treasured” or “Yahweh has hidden”
  • Written between 641 and 612 B.C. (Josiah of Judah)
  • God’s ticked because of idol worship and judgement is coming to the Jews in this book
  • The call to repentance is
    • Seek a quiet and disciplined life
  • I need a “quiet and disciplined” life
  • God’s promise for an unhypocritical faith:
    • In the end…I’ll give them a language undistorted, unpolluted,
      Words to address God in worship (3:9)
  • God’s promise for redemption
    • I’ll heal the maimed;
      I’ll bring home the homeless.
      In the very countries where they were hated
      they will be venerated. (3:19)

Bible Journey > Habakkuk

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Habakkuk as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Habbakkuk means “To Embrace”
  • Habbakuk was a worship leader
  • Written Around 610 BC
  • God is from eternity
  • God is hilarious
    • Write it out in big block letters
      so that it can be read on the run. (2:2)
  • The person in right standing with God is fully alive
  • Common minior prophet theme:
    • In ruining others you’ve ruined yourself. (2:10)
  • Habakkuk finds joy despite difficulty

Bible Journey > Nahum

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Nahum as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Nahum means “comfort”
  • Possibly from the south
  • Writes his prophecy against Ninevah the Assyrian capital
  • Written between (663 – 612 BC) around the time of King Josiah (Judah)
    • (about 100 yrs after Jonah goes to Ninevah)
  • Best Lines:
    • God is good,
      a hiding place in tough times.
      He recognizes and welcomes
      anyone looking for help (1:7)
    • I’ll pelt you with dog dung
      and place you on a pedestal: ‘Slut on Exhibit.’ (3:6)
  • God destroys Assyria because they are “past the point of no return”
    • Like Edom (in the book of Obadiah) there is no redemptive hope

Bible Journey > Micah

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Micah as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Written by Micah, whose name means, “Who is like Yahweh”
  • Was a country prophet from Moresheth a small town south west of Jerusalem
  • He wrote during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (750 – 687 BC)
  • His contemporaries were Issiah, Amos and Hosea
  • Micah preaches against Samaria (the north) and Jerusalem (the south)
  • Typical minor prophet message: God’s angry at sin and is going to destroy everything
  • Hmmm… apparently they were listening to Joel Osteen Podcasts in the days of Micah:
    • “If someone showed up with a good smile and glib tongue
      and told lies from morning to night—
      ‘I’ll preach sermons that will tell you
      how you can get anything you want from God:
      More money, the best wines…you name it’—
      you’d hire him on the spot as your preacher!”
  • “Love God” and “Love others” is written all over this book
  • The 2 things that God seems to hate the most are
    • Worshiping other gods
    • Injustice toward other people
  • Micah says the trouble isn’t simply God’s punishment for sin but God “refining” his people who are gold
  • Micah predicts that the “peacemaker of the world” would come from Bethlehem.
  • Wealth isn’t bad explicitly, but wealth gained by the oppression of others is.
  • Micah also ends with a hopeful call to God’s promise for redemption

Bible Journey > Jonah

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Jonah as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Jonah lived during the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC)
  • Jonah is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25
  • This book as a narrative, is stylistically different from the other minor prophets
  • The Sailors are angry at Jonah, but reluctant to kill him. They worship God as a result of the events
  • Jonah prays that he’s been made alive even while still in the belly of the fish
  • God “changed his mind” when he saw the repentance of Ninevah
    • Other prophets preached “Repent or be exiled”
    • Their words must’ve not been very convincing because the people didn’t repent
    • Jonah must have preached some pretty convincing words to inspire such a large scale repentance
  • Being a Christian is not a guard against bad things
    • Jonah who knew God well enough to predict his actions
    • and whose prayers are powerful enough to be saved from the belly of a fish
    • and whose preaching is powerful
    • still suffered suicidal depression.

Bible Journey > Obadiah

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Obadiah as I continue my journey through the Bible:


  • Obadiah means “Servant of YHWH”
  • A judgment against Edom (The descendants of Esau)
  • Allowing injustice is the same as committing it
    • Edom “stood and watched” and “were as bad as they were”
  • A remnant of Israel will be saved but Edom is screwed.
  • It seems the “hope” at the end here is that Israel will rule justly. Apparently Edom is incapable of redemption?

Bible Journey > Amos

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Amos as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Amos was from Tekoa, a small town in Judah south of bethlehem, but went north to preach
  • Was a normal guy (a Shepherd) before God called him
  • Wrote around 767-753 B.C. (Uzziah is King of Judah and Jerobaom II is King of Israel)
  • God was angry at Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, AND Judah, AND Israel. God’s hold people were no different than their unholy neighbors. Am I any different?
  • Amos uses the refrains: “God’s Message” and “God’s decree”
  • God has spoken—
    what prophet can keep quiet?
  • Amos used his experience as a shepherd in analogy:
    • In the same way that a shepherd
      trying to save a lamb from a lion
      Manages to recover
      just a pair of legs or the scrap of an ear,
      So will little be saved of the Israelites
      who live in Samaria
  • God’s not a big fan of religious show. Raised hands on Sunday need to accompany holy living throughout the week.
  • How often do I ignore God speaking through the circumstances of my life?
    • “I hit your crops with disease
      and withered your orchards and gardens.
      Locusts devoured your olive and fig trees,
      but you continued to ignore me.”
  • A theme in this book is war
  • God is called “יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי-צְבָאוֹת” “YHWH Elohiy Tsavote” “The LORD God of Armies”
  • All God wants are oceans of Justice and Rivers of fairness
  • Exploitation of other people, especially the poor, angers God
  • God won’t destroy Jacob so even in his anger his is still gracious
  • Amos and Joel both talk of God’s blessings in terms of “Wine pouring off the mountains”
  • Another fire and brimstone God’s anger prophecy book ends on a hopeful note of promised redemption

Bible Journey > Joel

Here are my thoughts and highlights from Joel as I continue my journey through the Bible:

  • Joel means “Yahweh is God”
  • Joel is from Judah, and possibliy Jerusalem
  • Written maybe around the time Joash was king (835-796 B.C.) but is a hard book to date
  • Sometimes weeping, mourning and despair are not only appropriate, they are commanded
  • The worship leaders are called to lead the people in lament
  • “Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion” is a repeated refrain. This is a public call for community repentance, not an individualistic faith.
  • Even Nursing infants are an important part of this community gathering of repentance
  • As much as a call to mourn sin and repent is a call to celebrate God’s rescue
  • Peter quotes Joel in Acts 2:
    • “I will pour out my Spirit
      on every kind of people:
      Your sons will prophesy,
      also your daughters.
      Your old men will dream,
      your young men will see visions.
      I’ll even pour out my Spirit on the servants,
      men and women both.
      I’ll set wonders in the sky above
      and signs on the earth below:
      Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
      the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
      Before the Judgment Day of God,
      the Day tremendous and awesome.
      Whoever calls, ‘Help, God!’
      gets help.”
  • In this part of scripture God pays back evil for evil and makes sure sin “boomerangs” on the nations
  • Despite all the anger and condemnation, Joel ends on a hopeful note

Bible Journey > Hosea

The “How to Blog” websites tell me not to copy other bloggers but being the crazy rebel that I am, I’m gonna do it anyway. This is my first post on my Bible Journey ala Tony Morgan. I think it would actually be great if other bloggers copied as well and started posting about their devotional time. I’d love to see “Bible Journeys” become as popular as “Worship Confessionals.”

This type of post helps by:

  • Giving others insight into a text that they might not have picked up
  • Looking back to see where your own faith was during a period in your life
  • Keeping you publicly accountable to be in the Word

Here are my thoughts and highlights on Hosea:
Continue reading ‘Bible Journey > Hosea’

Journey Through the Bible

Tony Morgan has a great blog on Christian Leadership. His posts are continually thought provoking and uplifting. I’ve recently been enjoying his series entitled Journey Through the Bible. It has challenged me becuase I have not been very consistent with my time in the Word recently. Tony encourages other to join him on the Journey to read the Bible in a year, which I got all excited to do, until I found out he started in 2006 and was almost finished. I decided rather than join him at the end I’d follow along the path from the beginning.
Continue reading ‘Journey Through the Bible’


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