This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!
The Big Picture of Jonah:
Jonah is a fascinating book and one that helps me believe the Bible is true and God-inspired. These are the kinds of stories that if I, in my human nature, were trying to create a religion and put together a holy book, would just leave out. But God doesn’t. He includes the “bad” with the “good” and the crazy right along with it. While many of the prophets we’ve read so far were at times a little insecure in their calling, Jonah just downright denies it and runs the other direction. I’ve had to learn in my life as well that when God calls me to something, the best plan (and even the safest) is to follow. Another fascinating piece in Jonah is that he goes to call an evil people to repentance, yet when they actually do repent (something that seems rare in Scripture), Jonah gets mad at God for saving them. All throughout we see God’s grace and patience again and again and again.
The Big Picture of Micah:
Micah was a prophet in Judah during the time when King Jotham, King Ahaz, and King Hezekiah reigned. The book is aimed at both Samaria and Jerusalem. Many say that Micah’s prophecies are similar to those of Isaiah and around the same time too. The first five chapters explain the judgements for wicked nations. Chapter 5 also includes reference to where Christ would be born, Bethlehem. Chapters 6-7 are given as instructions for how God’s people were to live.
The Big Picture of Nahum:
About 120 years after Jonah spoke to the people of Nineveh calling them to repent, God sent a second prophet to that same people group. While they responded to Jonah’s message initially, shortly they returned to their wicked ways. This short 3-chapter book outlines first the reasons God was angry with the people (chapter 1), prophecies about those who would come to destroy them (chapter 2), and what it would be like when that happened (chapter 3). Fifty years later Nineveh was completely destroyed and the remains weren’t found until the 19th century.
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book(s) each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” (Jonah 2:2)
REFLECTION: What “distress” do you find yourself or someone you love in right now? Spend some time crying out from the “deep” today. Trust that God listens to your cry.
- “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” (Jonah 3:10)
REFLECTION: When have you experienced God’s grace?
- “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)
REFLECTION: Where have you seen God bring “big things” out of “small” things?
- “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5)
REFLECTION: What does it look like to “walk in the name of the Lord our God”? Perhaps what does that look like in comparison to walking in the ways of other gods.
- “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” (Micah 7:18)
REFLECTION: Spend some time praising God for His mercy.
- “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7)
REFLECTION: What is one area of your life where you need to trust God for His care today?
- “Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away.” (Nahum 1:13)
REFLECTION: What shackles do you need God to tear away in your life?
Some Other Resources:
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through each of the books. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!