Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lenten preparations and a bible reading

The season of Lent is here tomorrow. Have you purchased all the books, devotionals, and prayers needed for the next 40 days? No? THATS OK, let me help you....better yet, let's be lenten fellows together. Each day, I am going to make a point to fast from lots of the fun stuff of the internet, but here at the pillars, lenten devotions will be shared. This morning, a foretaste, possibly?

Early this morning I opened the Bible up to The book of Nahum, after my knight went to work. Hm, I don't know this book well as it's scarcely mentioned, but full of power! Written by Nahum of Elkosh, a prophet with a vision concerning Ninevah. We all remember the story of Ninevah and Jonah, well Ninevah was destroyed in 612 BC due to the evil corruption and cruelty of the Assyrians who ruled the city at the time of its fall. Evidently, the story of Jonah's mission didn't have any effects on this great city, more importantly though was Jonah's message of hope and forgiveness that laid base at its gates.

In Nahum, our God is truly jealous and avenging with strong hammers, storms, whirlwinds, and unrelenting seas. Overflowing floods, entangled thorns, darkness, and great affliction are the rule of the day.
"The shatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; gird your loins; collect all your strength. (Nahum 2:1)
The prophet paints a fearful picture of the Almight's wrath to make his point that the evil city is a gonner, in Chapter 2 the soldiers arrive and begin the desolation and ruin as the Lord of Hosts cries out
"Behold, I am against you and I will burn your chariots in smoke..." (Nahum 2:13)
Chapter 3 reveals the rubble, destruction, in all it's nakedness he speaks to the King Assyria now.
"Your shepherds are asleep, O king of Assyria; your nobles slumber. Your people are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them." (Nahum 3:18)
All will be gone, even his own wounds are mortal, not to be healed. Those that hear and survive the fall, clap their hands at this news, for he was evil to all not just a few.

The prophet Nahum tells a very strong message about our God, that he is a jealous, a mighty God that can and will destroy evil. The message here is that we must fear God, truly realize and be prepared for this as we "gird our loins and gather all our strength."

In todays reading of Sirach Chapter 2:1-11, written in the first century by a sage in Jerusalem, shows us that yes repenting, serving the Lord, and being prepared is the way to eternal life, but again, not without trials, fear, and adversity.
"Wait on God, with patience, cling to Him, forsake Him not; thus will you be wise in all your ways. Accept whatever befalls you, w hen sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient. For in fire gold and silver are tested and the worthy poeple in the cruicible of humiliation. Trust God and God will help you; trust in him, and he will direct your way; keep his fear and grow old therein."
Wow! God is truly a fearful God, but hear this:
Has anyone persevered in His commendments and been forsaken? Has anyone
called upon Him and been rebuffed? Compassionate and merciul is the Lord;
He forgives sins, He saves in time of trouble and he is a protector to all who
seek him in truth.

Fear Him? Yes. Trust Him? Definitely! Love Him unconditionally? Without a doubt!

This is the last time I can say this for now........ALLELUIA!!!


Cathy Adamkiewicz said...

"Accept whatever befalls you, when sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient."
Wow, did I need to hear this today!
God is good, and I must trust Him!

RAnn said...

Want to join a Lenten Reading Meme