The Cost of Worship

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Today, Monday,  in the holy week timeline we see Jesus clearing the temple in Jerusalem. What exactly was going on in the temple that stirred Him to this kind of outburst?

Remember, it was Passover for these Jewish people. Families had taken their best lamb from their flock, kept it in their home for 4 days as ordered by God, and now travelled to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the only town that they could sacrifice – that’s where the temple was. They needed to have their lamb offered for their sins, so they had to go to Jerusalem. Once they arrived at the temple, a priest would look at their lamb and say, “This one is unacceptable, it’s not good enough.”  The priest would then take their lamb around back, and bring out another lamb – probably from the person in line ahead of them – and say to them that they would gladly sell this lamb to them so they would have an “acceptable” sacrifice.  They were selling the lambs for an outrageous price. So, in all of this the family would end up out of money and sacrificing a lamb they didn’t even know!

Continue reading “The Cost of Worship”

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Racing Jonah or Embracing God?

Jonah …. Aaahhhh Jonah.  I am not certain I like the fact that I can so easily and quickly relate to this man.

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Jonah was given direction by God– he was told to go to Nineveh and “preach against it”.  Nineveh was a very large and important city in that day.  It would soon become the head of the great Assyrian empire.  It was also a city of great sin.

In the book of Jonah, we are not given very much information about the town or the people of this place.  Because I love the history of the Bible, I’m almost tempted to seek out what was going on in Nineveh during this time.  However, when God was speaking to me about Jonah, it wasn’t the “other people or the other place” He was talking to me about.  It was all about me.  And this book in the Bible is about Jonah.

We are not told specifically in God’s Word what it was that offended Jonah so much about his assignment.  Was it the people he disliked?  They were not “his people”.  The Assyrians were a very fierce and wicked people at this time in history.  They were about to become a world power and the prophet Nahum does tell us they conquered viciously and took over lands everywhere they went.

Maybe I can understand … am I supposed to admit this?  Maybe they looked different on the outside… Heaven forbid they had a different skin color.  Perhaps they had a different “culture” and just weren’t raised the same as Jonah was.  We don’t know why Jonah had such a distaste for these Assyrians.  Maybe it went back generations and he was just raised to dislike them… Continue reading “Racing Jonah or Embracing God?”