Reflections on Nahum 1

Nahum proclaims the greatness of our God and predicts the coming fall of Nineveh.

  • God’s Wrath – God hates sin. He gave Nineveh a chance to repent through Jonah, but their repentance was short lived.  Now God’s wrath would be poured out in judgment.  God’s wrath is serious.  Praise the Lord that Jesus bore our sin and God’s wrath in our place!
  • Stronghold – While this book is bad news for Nineveh, it is good news for Judah. Nineveh had come against them and almost destroyed them, but God had been their stronghold.  Now God would be their stronghold in delivering Judah from Nineveh forever (1:7).  This was good news (1:15).  How do you need God to be your stronghold today?
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Nahum 1-3: Against The Enemy

(1) What do you learn about God in v2-6?

What do you learn about God in v7?

Why must God be all the things in v2-6 in order to be all the things he is in v7?

Though Nineveh plots against God and is strong, God will destroy them (v8-14).  Why is this good news for Judah (v15, see also v12b-13)?  For us?

(2) Nineveh will be destroyed.  Why (v2, 13)?

Nineveh’s wealth will be plundered (v9).  What lesson is there for us in this?

(3) Again, Nineveh will be destroyed.  Why (v1, 5)?

God is against all people because of their sin (Romans 1:18).  What is our only hope, how does this change everything (Romans 8:1, 31)?

Who will grieve for Nineveh, and why (v7, 19)?

Thebes was a strong well-protected city, but it fell (v8-10).  What lesson is Nineveh to learn from this?

What lesson should we learn?

(1-3) Nahum’s name means “comfort.”  How would this short book be a comfort to Judah?

How can this book be a comfort to you?

Look again at 1:2-7.  How might these verses encourage you to trust God in your trials?

Praise God?

Fear God?

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Reflections on II Chronicles 33-35

We see God’s interaction with two great kings, as the exile draws near.

  • Humility – It took capture and imprisonment to humble Manasseh. Josiah humbled himself when he heard the Word of the Lord.  How has God humbled you?  Do you humble yourself before God’s Word?
  • Judgment and Mercy – God judged Manasseh for his sins, but then showed him mercy when Manasseh humbled himself and cried out for help. God’s judgment was coming against Judah because of their sins, but God mercifully postponed his judgment because of Josiah’s humility.  How have you seen God’s judgment and mercy at work?
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The Shepherd’s Care

GentlenessOfGod

He will tend (feed) his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
– Isaiah 40:11 ESV (KJV)

Isaiah gives us the picture of a gentle shepherd who cares for his sheep.  He tends, feeds, gathers, carries, and leads his flock.

Our God is like a shepherd to us.  He tends and feeds us, taking care of our needs.  He gathers and carries us in his arms.  And he gently leads us along the path we should go.  He doesn’t harshly drive us.  He doesn’t violently beat us. He cares for us with the gentleness of a shepherd.

Is this how you think of God – as a gentle shepherd?

In what situation in your life do you need God to carry you right now?

How do you need God to gently lead and guide you today?

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Reflections on II Kings 21-23

Two evil kings are followed by Josiah – the final righteous king before the exile.  Note:

  • Influence and Consequences – Manasseh led the people of Judah astray into much evil, and God’s judgment was coming. Do you influence people towards God or away from him?  To do what is right or wrong?  Toward blessing or judgment?
  • Repentance – Josiah reads the Book of the Law and truly repents. He humbles himself, rips his clothes, and weeps over their past sin.  Then he moves in the right direction – he cleanses the temple from all the instruments of idolatry, destroys the high places, rids the land of mediums and idols, and much more.  When confronted with sin – do you seriously repent like this?
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II Kings 21-23 & II Chronicles 33-35: Pay Attention

(2K-21) Manasseh did what was evil in God’s sight (v2).  What evil did he do (v1-9)?

How did God respond (v10-15)?  What does this remind you about God?

(2Ch-33) Again we read of Manasseh’s evil in v1-9.  God confronted Manasseh, but Manasseh paid no attention (v10).  How did God finally get Manasseh’s attention (v11)?

Describe Manasseh’s response to his distress (v12-13).  What did God do (v13)?

How did Manasseh follow-through with his repentance after he returned to Jerusalem (v15-16)?

Why do you think it often takes a great trial for God to get someone’s attention?

(2K-21) Describe Amon’s reign (v19-22).  How was he like and unlike his father Manasseh?  What happened to him (v23)?

(2K-22) How did God get Josiah’s attention, and how did Josiah respond (v8-13)?

How is his response a good example for us (see Isaiah 66:2)?

What bad news and good news did God give through the prophetess to Josiah in v14-20?

(2K-23) How did Josiah further respond to God’s Word in v1-24?

Why was Josiah’s follow-through so important?

How is Josiah described in v25?  Are you giving your all to God?

How did God first get your attention?  How did you respond?

From Josiah’s example, how should we respond to the reading and hearing of God’s Word?  Be specific.

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Sermon Songs: Revelation 19:1-10

MusicNotes

Hallelujah to our Savior, Full of glory, full of power
Hallelujah – He has judged her, Babylon the corrupter
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, All ye servants worship God

Hallelujah – rejoice and sing, Our God reigns and He has won
We’re invited to the wedding, As the Bride of God’s own Son
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, All ye servants worship God

To the tune of “Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending”

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Reflections on Micah 5-7

Micah shows us God’s response and our proper response to the ungodly world around us.

  • Coming Shepherd-King – A ruler will come from Bethlehem to shepherd the people and bring forth peace (5:2-4). Matthew references these verses in his account of Jesus’ birth.  The Shepherd-King has been born and will return to usher in peace.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
  • What the Lord Requires – In the midst of all the injustice, God calls Israel to love justice, to show mercy (or love), and to walk in humility before God (6:8). In what ways are these three expectations true in your life?  In what ways do you fall short?
  • Look to the Lord – In the midst of the oppression, Micah says he will look to the Lord (7:7). God will show compassion and forgive sins (7:18-20).  In what oppressive situations do you need to look to the Lord?  For what sins do you need to look to the Lord for forgiveness?
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Reflections on Micah 1-4

Micah proclaims judgment for Judah and Israel because of their idolatry and oppression, and one day these sins will be no more.

  • Idolatry and Oppression – Israel is condemned for their idolatry (1:6-7), while Judah is condemned for their oppression of the poor (2:1-3, 3:1-3). What idols lurk in your heart?  Are there ways you are oppressing others?
  • Coming Shepherd-King – While judgment is coming for their sin, God will one day raise up a king to gather the people like sheep and lead them (2:12-13). Jesus came to be our Good Shepherd to gather and lead us (John 10) and one day reign as King.
  • End of Oppression and Idolatry – Though there may be these sins today, there is coming a day when they will be no more. God will judge the people and restore those who have been oppressed (4:3-7).  God will cut off idolatry (5:13-14).  Imagine a world free of oppression and idolatry!
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Micah 1-7: Judgment, Promise, Expectation

(1-2, 6) What sins does God confront in 1:7; 2:1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11?

How does God respond to their sin (6:9-16)?  What does this tell you about God?

(3) What groups of people does God condemn, and why (v1-4, v5-7, v9-11)?  What would be the result (v12)?

How is Micah different (v8)?

In what ways is our role today as individual Christians and as a church similar to and different from Micah’s role in v8?

(4) What promises does God make for the future (v1-4, compare Isaiah 2:1-4)?

“All the peoples walk each in the name of its god” (v5a).  How do you see this today in America?

What does it look like for us to walk in the name of the Lord instead (v5b)?

(5) What promise is made in v2?  Who is this (see Matthew 2:6)?

What will he do (v4-5a)?

(6) What three things does God expect of his people (v8)?

Give examples of what each would look like in your daily life?  In your family and neighborhood?  At your job?

(7) Surrounded by ungodliness (v1-6), how does Micah respond (v7)?  How does this complement 3:8?  What other responses might we be tempted to make?

What important confession does Micah make in v9?  How should that affect our response to an ungodly world?

What will God do for his people (v18-20)?  How do you think we should respond?

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