Latest Thoughts of the Day
Haggai 2:4
'But now, be strong, O Zerubbabel', declares the Lord. 'be strong. O Joshua son of Zadok the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land.' declares the Lord, 'for I am with you', declares the Lord Almighty.

God has called to their attention the negative impression the new temple gives, especially to those who had seen the old one before it was destroyed. “But” “Notwithstanding”. “In spite of that” “Be strong!” God’s future plans for this temple include something far greater than Solomon’s temple ever was. The Lord, Whom they seek will suddenly come to this temple. Jesus, the Son of God will Himself visit it, as the One who manifests all that the Temple was ever meant to convey. This present temple is part of a plan that will touch the whole world with God’s salvation. Lord, help us be strong because of Jesus.
Zephaniah 3:1
Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!

God has spoken of His terrible judgment upon one nation after another for their pride and arrogance and covetousness and cruelty, their crushing the poor to exalt themselves. He turns His attention now to Jerusalem and condemns in them the same sins He has punished in others. But as the chapter proceeds, we see God’s amazing intention to forgive, restore and bless the people of God. He will call His people to rejoice that God has taken away their sin and rejoiced over them with singing. They will see the incongruity of their behavior and turn in repentance and faith to the One who Saves. We are reminded of Paul’s appeal to the Ephesians in chapter 5 verse 6. If God is such a judge, serve the Lord with gladness. We tremble at His wrath, and flee to Jesus.
Habakkuk 3:1
A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.

The last word could be a musical or literary term, but we really don’t know. Certainly it marks the significance that Habakkuk turned to prayer. He had prayed before in this book, but the attitude was calling God to account, first with a kind of scolding, then with a challenge to what He said He would do, and then a waiting that conveyed that God better hurry up with His answer. Now is when Habakkuk really prays. He acknowledges God, he stands in awe, and he quietly asks for mercy. We all know what it is like to scold God in our prayers, to point out His mis-management, to act as though we have put God on the spot. Forgive us, Lord. Whom have we in heaven but You, and what on earth do we want but the Lord Jesus?
Nahum 3:1
Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims.

Nahum is declaring the utter destruction of one of the most powerful empires of the time. Probably Nahum escaped from the Northern Kingdom, Israel, when the Assyrians he addresses conquered and transported the ten tribes of Israel. Probably he lived in Jerusalem to see the slaying of 185,000 Assyrian solders in a single night, by God’s angel of death. Within a few more years, the city of Nineveh was so completely destroyed that for two thousand years No one even remembered that it had been there. Experts thought its very existence to be a myth until the ruins were discovered in 1845. God’s warning of judgement through Nahum was remarkably fulfilled. Lord, You have promised to judge all men’s sins. We thank You that Your righteous judgment for our sins was taken by Jesus.

Micah 7:1
What misery is mine! I aam like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave.

What does one do when all the good people are gone? You desire fellowship with someone who loves Jesus, and such a person is nowhere to be found. Dishonesty has taken over. Truthfulness has been rejected. An interest in serving God doesn’t exist anymore in the land. Micah hopes for at least the gleanings of a ruined society, but no gleanings are left. Perhaps a cluster that avoided the wicked and selfish harvest, but no vestige remains. “What misery is mine”, declares the prophet. Is it quite so bad in our day? Is there no one left who loves and honors God? Lord make us lights in a dark world. Help us serve Jesus.

Jonah 3:3
"Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

After all the clamor and hoop-la concerning the great fish, God simply repeats His instructions to Jonah. “Go to Nineveh and say what I want you to say." God purposes their repentance as a powerful lesson for us, but that repentance must come through the means of preaching the word of God. God’s only limitation in anything He does is the means that He has chosen to use. A word is enough if that is the means He chooses. A man is needed if His purposes include a man. God will crush Satan under our feet shortly. The means He will need to do so will be our feet. So Jonah is sent on his way to Nineveh, and God prepares to use him. Use us to do your will, King Jesus.
Obadiah 2
"See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised."

The enmity between Jacob and Esau had simmered for over a thousand years, with pretty regular outbreaks. God chose Jacob to be the twin through which He would establish His kingdom, so the regular opposition against Jacob became pure and simple enmity to God. It all focused into habitual hatred, with one irritation after another. At Edom’s heart was determination to undermine and destroy Israel. Obadiah writes not to call Edom to repentance, but to declare the judgment God has determined to bring. A time eventually comes when the door of mercy is shut. We remember this and say, "Now is the day of salvation” as we call men and women, boys and girls to repentance and faith. All of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Our only hope is Jesus.
Joel 3:2
I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scatterred my people among the nations and divided up my land.

God has used other nations to chastise His people, but when they have taken their part with personal enthusiasm and joy, He judges them for anti-Semitism. There have always been people who hated God’s people because they were God’s people, and throughout the ages God has judged men and nations for their personal enmity. Amos wrote 2700 years ago, but the sin he wrote about goes on today, and not just to the ethnic Jews, but also to any who confess they are the people of God. Persecution in general has its root in enmity to God. Lord, strengthen us to bear the world’s enmity for Jesus.

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