The story of Jonah
As December was coming to a close I decided to read the book of Jonah for my quiet time and I was amazed at all the new things I saw and challenged by this simple study. I wanted to share a few of them with you.
Who determines whose worthy of God's grace?
While Jonah is considered one of the minor prophet books in the Bible, it is very unique in two ways. There are no prophecies concerning the people of Israel and it will end with a question. The story of Jonah is familiar to most since being swallowed by a large fish tends to be memorable. The introduction to Jonah was simple as we read in the first verse of the book.
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai
We know he was a prophet as Jesus referred to him in Matthew 12:39
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
But Jonah’s assignment was not to speak to his own people but to deliver a message to the people of Nineveh whose wickedness had come before the Lord. The term “Come before” that is used in verse 2 of chapter 1 means a person’s appearance before God. The word "wickedness" depicts evil in an absolute, negative sense. It means bad in a moral and ethical sense.
To put it bluntly, Nineveh was consumed by evil, it poured out of every area in their life, their appearance before a holy God was completely marred by evil, like layers of filthy rags. There was no way they could hide it but as much as our God is holy, He is also One of great compassion. While their sin abounded, God’s grace abounded more. While we would have said they were beyond redemption, God commissioned someone to go and give them a warning. What a great reminder of just how merciful our God is and just how far He will go to give a second chance.
In contrast to this powerful and beautiful illustration of God’s grace and mercy is Jonah’s response. For the first time I was really struck by what Jonah’s actions revealed about his heart. When he fled the presence of God by hopping on a boat headed in the opposite direction, he was not only in direct disobedience to God’s command, it showed he did not have the same compassion, in fact he was completely void of any desire to extend them mercy. This was an interesting thought. It was as if Jonah felt he had the right to determine who received God’s grace or who should be told about God’s grace. He had no desire to be involved in this mission of mercy. God calls us to spread His good news throughout the earth, to every living soul but here Jonah decides he wants nothing to do with that. This really made me stop and consider if I have ever been guilty of this, of evaluating someone’s appearance or background to determine if I wanted to share the gospel or not. We don't have that right, it is not up to us. Sometimes it is those whose appearance takes us back that need the gospel more than anyone else. This is the first lesson from the book of Jonah. God’s grace is for everyone, it is not up to me to determine who is worthy of hearing about it, but to share it to all God leads into my path.
Compassion from an unexpected source
The next lesson comes from Jonah’s journey on the boat headed for Tarshish. He, like many of us, was mistaken when he assumed he could outrun God. The Lord sent a storm so strong that it frightened even these seasoned sailors. As their fear takes hold, they turn to their gods and do whatever they can think of to save themselves. Finally they decide it was time for Jonah to join them and pray to his God, unaware that He was the One true God. It is sad that Jonah immediately recognized the reason for the storm, his direct disobedience to God’s command, yet was unwilling to repent or even confess it to these men until forced by the casting of lots. He simply stood by and said nothing until there was no other option, you could say he was cornered into a confession. This is a reminder for us that our acts of disobedience often cause the people around us to suffer as well, rarely do we cause harm to just ourselves.
hen the truth did come out it is amazing to witness the compassion offered by these pagan sailors. Their lives were in danger, they had tossed much of their cargo, their income, overboard in an attempt to lighten their load, but when told that this whole episode of terror was Jonah’s fault, the man who was fast asleep while they were all running around like madmen, they were still willing to offer compassion. Jonah had told them the only way to make the storm cease was to toss him into the sea yet they tried to find another way. How many of us would have responded in the same way? Very few, most would have had something to say about his selfish behavior. It is almost ironic that these sailors possessed more compassion than Jonah. They had been put in danger of losing their lives but were willing to risk theirs to save Jonah while he was unwilling to deliver God’s message to the people of Nineveh. How amazing that Jonah was given grace by these men, something he was withholding from others. What a great example these sailors are for us today. We should be that kind of person, one who can extend grace to others even when they make mistakes or wrongs against us. We should also be willing to admit when we are wrong, come forward, ask forgiveness and take responsibility for our actions especially in front of the lost. We should not have to be cornered into a confession like Jonah.
This leads to a little sub point within this lesson. Jonah's testimony before these lost men was damaged to say the least. He who was a prophet of God, a messenger of God's very words, was doing a poor job at reflecting them to others. His disregard to God’s command was not a good testimony and should make us consider how ours stands before others. How often have we chosen to disobey or completely disregard God's direct commands? How has this hurt my testimony and impacted by ability to witness to the lost? We must always remember that we don’t live life for ourselves, we are being watched even when we don’t realize it. Every action, word, or response can have an impact on others for good or bad. These sailors would see the power of God when they finally did throw Jonah into the sea. We read it in verse 16 of chapter one.
Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.
Although we don’t know for sure if this means they became believers in God, they had witnessed that He was God. Tragically it is not Jonah’s actions that were the reason they did, only the fact that the storm ceased after they tossed him over did they fear the Lord. We should seek to maintain a good testimony in front of everyone, you never know what a difference it will make in someone's life for eternity.
Guilty as charged
The people of Nineveh is where I found my next little nugget. In Jonah 3 verses 4-5 we read
And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
The people of Nineveh believed God, the word "believe" means receiving something as true and sure. That definition grabbed my attention because of their background. They were pagan people consumed by wickedness yet when they heard God’s message they didn’t question it but received it as true and sure. Can we, as children of God, say this is our response when we hear the words of God spoken from the pulpit or read it for ourselves? How often have we been a hearer of the Word but not a doer? God’s word is truth, every word can be believed and our life should be a reflection of our belief. Conviction goes to another level when we examine verses, 6 through 9.
For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
When they were confronted about their behavior they did not make an excuse or get mad. They didn't seek to find a loop hole. They took it for what it was, the truth and then altered their behavior in the hope that God might spare them. What's interesting is the fact that they did not have any assurance God would change His mind. They did not have such verses like the one found in 2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Or the one found in Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The king of Nineveh simply acted on the hope that by turning from their evil way and from the violence in their hands, God might spare them. They did what they could and God saw them.
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Jonah 3:10
Where does that leave us? What do we do when God confronts us about our bad behavior or willful disobedience? Do we try to make an excuse by saying others are doing it or it is not as bad as others. Do we get upset when someone challenges us with the truth of our actions? Our response should be as the people of Nineveh, to turn away from our sin, forsake it and beg God’s forgiveness. Instead of being angry with someone when they tell us the truth about our sinful conduct we should be grateful to them that they had the courage and even compassion to call us out because it means we have the opportunity to repent, to alter our ways and be cleansed. Remember it is not a bad thing when we are chastised.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, Hebrews 12:6
Because God loves us and cares about us He corrects and confronts our behavior. We simply have to accept when we are wrong as the people of Nineveh did; when we do confess our sins, we will receive grace and forgiveness from our God.
Mercy in the Face of Rebellion
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Jonah 4:1-4
Here is the final lesson from Jonah who is upset that God spared the people of Nineveh. He wanted to see them destroyed even after he, although grudgingly, delivered God’s message. The reason is now revealed and we find out why he was so reluctant to go in the first place. He knew that God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. That is the epitome of selfishness. Not only did Jonah want to deny the people of Nineveh God’s grace but he did it because he hated the fact that they might repent and be spared! He who was God’s messenger, who should have been a reflection of God’s character wanted these people to perish without hope or forgiveness. The real shocker came from the definition for the word gracious: Mercy in the face of rebellion. Mercy in the face of rebellion. I read that definition over and over again, in fact it stayed with me for days as I tried to process the meaning of the words. If you are looking for a sentence to sum up the entire book of Jonah this is it. Mercy in the face of rebellion. Jonah rebelled against God, he deliberately disobeyed God yet even in this rebellious state God was merciful. He saved him from drowning by creating a big fish and after three days told the creature to spit Jonah back up onto dry ground, not the sea but safely on shore. The people of Nineveh had rebelled against God in their severe wicked behavior yet God granted them mercy by sending someone to warn them of the coming destruction. We are also on the list. We were in a rebellious state when lost but God was merciful to us, even loved us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
While we were yet sinners, rebels against God, we were loved and offered mercy. What is interesting about this term is the fact that it is solely used as a descriptive term of God. This is something that He alone can do, or gives us strength to be merciful to those who are rebellious. Apart from Him it is impossible. Mercy in the face of rebellion. What an amazing God we serve who extends mercy in the face of our rebellion but may I suggest that we never take this for granted or use it as a reason to behave as Jonah. He knew God was gracious and behaved ungraciously by being angry at the sparing of Nineveh and angry when God took away his gourd that provided shade while he was sitting in the sun. This was the behavior of a spoiled brat not a child of God. We should always be grateful that God is a God who extends mercy even when we are in a rebellious state but seek to have the right attitude, one whose perspective of God is correct. We are His creation not the other way around and He is due all the respect and honor we can give.
These are just a few things I found while studying the book of Jonah, may I encourage you to take some time to read it for yourself? It is only four short chapters but there are many truths to be found in this book tucked between Obadiah and Micah. Let’s purpose in our hearts to be a people that are willing to be messengers of grace to the world, to offer compassion to those in need, ready to repent of our sins when confronted by God or others, and always remember just how good God has been to us even when we behave rebelliously.
Very little is known about her including her name. Her story begins in Judges 13 verse one:
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Barren, that seemed to be her title, and she was in good company. Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel all were barren, wives of the patriarchs. But she had no hope that she would lose that title, it seemed to come with a lifetime warranty, so you can imagine her surprise when she saw an angel standing before her telling her that she could expect to have a son. Without even giving her time to react the angel continues to rattle off some instructions to her in verses four and five.
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
And just like that he is gone, no hello or goodbyes, no additional explanations, nothing. Her response to the message is to find her husband. In verses six and seven we read:
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
If you take the time to imagine the scene, it can become quite humorous. Let's retell it just a little:
Manoah is quietly doing his work when his wife arrives, breathless and tells him between deep breaths, a man of God came, and his countenance, Oh, it was like the countenance of an angel of God, terrible, very terrible, but I didn’t ask him where he came from or who he was and he didn’t bother to tell me. BUT he told me that I was going to have a baby, a son. AND he said I could not drink wine or strong drink or eat any unclean thing because the child will be a Nazarite to God from the womb to his death.
This must have been a lot for Manoah to take in, after all, it is not everyday that your wife comes running up to you saying an angel told her she was going to have a son. Whatever his reaction to the message, we do know that he had a request to ask of God. Verse eight:
Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
A Desire to Learn
Manoah's response is moving. It is no stretch to say that both he and his wife longed to have a child. Children were so important in their culture, they were their legacy and social security. Manoah did not treat this heavenly news lightly. He desired to learn how he should raise the child, he wanted to do it right, to be a good father and possessed a heart that was teachable. In proverbs 1:5 we read
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
And in Proverbs 9:9 it says:
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
A trademark of a wise person is that they are teachable. They recognize that they don’t have all the answers. They know they can always learn more and are humble enough to ask questions and seek help, like Manoah did. He understood that this child was meant to do something great which is why he needed to know exactly what he and his wife should do. What a great lesson for us as well as a reminder, nothing we have is ours alone, it is from the Lord. Every talent, every possession and even every person in our life, they are all from the Lord and if we want to be good stewards of what He has given to us then we should ask Him how to manage it all.
The gifts we have been given should be used under the direction of the Lord. The possessions He has poured out on us should be used as He guides us. And above all, the people God entrusts to us such as children should be handled with the wisdom He gives. This can also apply to how we treat our parents, siblings and friends, they are all a gift from the Lord and are the only possession we can take to Heaven with us. Relationships matter to the Lord, each person is made in the image of God so we should look to Him for guidance in how we interact with those He has blessed us with. Another lesson we can learn from the Manoahs is this. They had waited a long time for a child and God was giving them a desire of their heart, their first response was to seek the Lord’s wisdom. How many times have we spent years asking God for something but when we receive it we do as we please with it instead of continuing to pray over it?
A Request Granted
Manoah treasured his gift from the Lord and wanted to do his best in raising this child, so he intreated the Lord to send the man of God to them again so they could know what to do. God's sweet response is found in verse nine:
And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
God honored his request, remember that in James 1:5 we are told,
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Manoah asked and God responded by sending the angel back, however, it is not to him directly but through is wife again. She quickly makes her back to Manoah as the scene unfold in verses ten through fourteen.
And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
Manoah and his wife eagerly took in all that the angel had to say. She was going to be on a special diet all through her pregnancy and while there is a specific reason for this it is an interesting thought that our actions and choices can have an impact on others. The decisions we make rarely affect just us which means we should be more conscious of others when making them. What we say, where we go, even the things that we recommend to others can all influence someone for good or bad. We each have a realm of influence whether we realize it or not. People, both lost and saved, are watching our actions and our reactions. This is another reason to seek the Lord’s wisdom daily, letting Him influence our life so we can be ready to influence others for good.
A Voice of Reason
For Manoah, he had one final request of this messenger and we read that in verse fifteen and sixteen.
And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
Though the angel agreed to this request, he did tell Manoah that he would not eat the food nor did he want praise when asked what his name. He didn't want Manoah to honor him. The angel kept the focus where it needed to be, on the Lord. It's easy to get caught up in the desire to be honored by man but we should seek to have the same attitude as the angel of the Lord. He understood that he was merely a messenger sent to do the bidding of the Lord. We are also ambassadors for Christ, His messengers sent to do His work, to spread the gospel, to share His love, and be a light to the world. We should never seek our own glory or praise our own “accomplishments”, because none of it is ours to begin with. God has blessed each of us with a specific gift that was intended to be used for His glory and His honor. May we always remember that and have an attitude of humility, careful to not yield ground to pride.
Manoah and his wife prepared an offering and the angel though he doesn’t reveal his name, reveals that he is a heavenly being. We read this in verses nineteen through twenty-two.
So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
It must have been interesting to watch the look on Manoah’s face as the realization sinks in, he has just seen an angle. This was not a regular man of God, this was an angel of the Lord and you probably could have knocked him over with a feather. Of course, he actually fell to the ground all on his own along with his wife. Most of us would probably have had the same reaction, absolute shock and a good bit of terror. Manual seems to almost cry out in a voice of absolute panic, "we shall surely die, because we have seen God". It’s as if he is almost saying, "we are doomed!".
His wife's response is the exact opposite in verse 23:
But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
As you read these words you can hear the calm sound of reason. She is so practical, so factual, "why would God go through so much trouble to tell us we would have a child, accept our burnt offering, give us the instructions only to kill us." While Manoah seems almost unhinged, his sweet wife simply states the facts which made perfect sense. They also reflect an understanding heart of God’s character. She believes what God has told her and knows that God is not double minded. He wouldn’t tell them they would be parents then kill them for seeing an angel. Her perspective of the situation was guided by her knowledge of God. Manoah panicked but his wife remained calm. When we look at our circumstances through our eyes we will become anxious and troubled but when we remember who God is and that He is in control, everything changes. The Psalmist expresses the same confidence in Psalm 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
Why could he say he will lay down in peace and sleep? Because the Lord makes him to dwell in safety. He could rest because he knew who was in control, who was his shield and protector. We have the same assurances, the same promises, this is what happens when you know God more, when you dwell in His presence, you find rest. Manoah’s wife is a beautiful example of how knowing God influences our perspective and gives us peace. When life gets crazy and our circumstances leave us feeling worried or fearful may we take a moment to be still and shift our focus on the One who never leaves nor forsakes us, the One who promises to be by our side, holding us in His right hand.
A Title Replaced
In the end, Manoah’s wife would join a long list of women who traded their title of barren for another one, Mother which we read in verse 24:
And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
What a wonderful and exciting day that must have been for both of them. She who had longed to have a child, she who lived in the shadows of other mothers now had her moment of fulfillment, her arms now were full as she cradled her miracle, her gift from the Lord, a son called Samson. God had been preparing her for this moment, all those years of waiting, longing, hoping were not in vain. And God has not forgotten you. We have to trust in the Lord that He knows what is best for us. His timing is always perfect, He is never early and He is never late. There are many out there who have a longing of their own, to be married, to have children, maybe you are even wishing for a spouse or grandchildren for your own child. Be willing to trust the Lord with these longings and desires. He who formed you and your children, knows your every need. The best thing we can do is commit these things to prayer and leave it in His capable, loving hands. Never forget that He wants the best for you and no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
May we choose to be a people that trust His word, His timing, and above all, believe that He loves us more than anyone else. May we be like Manoah’s wife and walk in the confidence of one who knows their God and we can only do this if we spend time in His word, take the time to quiet our souls and let Him whisper His truths into our hearts.
"a portrait of love and courage at a time when those qualities were in short supply."
For over six decades a letter was tucked away from the world, it was sent as a desperate and final plea for help in a time when the unimaginable was taking place far from American shores.
You are surely informed about the situation of all jews in Central-Europe and this letter will not astonish you. By pure chance I got your address and as our names are the same I hope that we belong to the same family... we are seized with fright thinking of the moment when our children will leave us and we shall be left here alone. The only possibility to join our children, the dearest we have in this world, is the way to America and I beg you instantly to send us (for me and my wife) an affidavit... I beg you once more: help us follow our children, it is our last and only hope.
The recipients of this letter would, for reasons unknown, choose not to answer the letter, yet they refused to throw it away. When they passed away in the mid-1970s, it was found by their niece who felt it was too important to throw away. As she began to near the end of her life she felt someone needed to know about the letter and that is how it ended up in the hands of journalist, Faris Cassell, a woman who was driven by the question, "What happened to Alfred and Hedwig Berger?"
She would spend nearly twenty years searching for answers, travel across five countries, and talk with people who were complete strangers but would become good friends. The more Faris Cassell dug deeper into the lives of these ordinary people she uncovered an extraordinary story, one of courage, love, and deep faith.
I must confess that as soon as I read the back cover of this book I was fascinated. It completely grabbed my attention and curiosity. This couple was so desperate for help that they were willing to beg complete strangers. I will say that this book was a difficult read in many ways, there was so much sorrow and loss yet it was impossible not to be pulled into the world of this family who loved each other with such devotion. As the author begins to walk you through their life, how the couple met, their background, and the relentless effort they put forth to ensure the safety of their children, there was a quote that caught my attention.
"Sunlight over a dark landscape"
I read it over and over again, then I wrote it down though I wish I had noted the page number but the idea was that there were moments woven throughout the story when human courage and compassion shown like the sun in a dark landscape. My mind went to the verses in Matthew five:
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We are meant to be a light not for ourselves or that others will see how great we are, but to point others to Christ. Our world is naturally a dark place, it began in darkness and only when God stepped on the scene did the darkness vanish. He who is Light pushed the darkness into the corner and only His presence eliminates it. We are called to be a light to the world, to be a reflection of God and in so doing we become a piece of sunlight over a dark landscape. Darkness is oppressive and when we spend extended periods of time under its shadow we can become a soul that is discouraged. Sunlight is the direct opposite, we delight to bathe in it's warmth and can instantly feel happier as it surrounds us. How can we make a difference in this world that seems to be nearly swallowed up by the darkness? We begin by going directly to the source of light, our God, and we do this by spending time in His Word because it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. When we meditate on the Word of God its truths and principles will begin to penetrate our soul and influence our behavior. How can we be sunlight over a dark landscape? When we are kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, and speaking words of love. This is how we make a difference in this dark landscape, being the lights that shine forth, reminding people that kindness, mercy, and love still exist in the world because He is kind, merciful, and loving. As Christians, followers of Christ, we have a purpose and part of that includes being someone who shines the SONlight over a dark landscape.
One final thought that I took away from this book was a comment made by the author herself as she pondered how Alfred and his wife Hedwig could celebrate their religious holidays, particularly the one that required them to confess their sins to the Lord while enduring such suffering and loss. It was such a reminder to me on the lost's mentality, that they can't comprehend why anyone could ask for forgiveness for sin when the One they were confessing to was allowing such wrong to go unpunished. What they fail to see is the other side of the coin, that our life here on earth is temporary, it is not all there is, in fact, it is merely a drop in light of eternity. It was a great reminder to me, even though there is so much injustice and corruption going on in our world right now, but that does not mean I get a pass on making sinful choices or yielding to temptations. God is still just and worthy of all the honor and respect I can give Him. When I keep a correct view of eternity in mind, that this life is merely a vapor which will soon be past and a wondrous future awaits all those that call upon His name, I will seek to keep my heart pure through confession of sins. Also, confessing my sins should not be determined by my current circumstances but by the fact that it is needful for me in order to maintain a correct relationship with my Heavenly Father, the One who died to save me.
If you enjoy learning about history, you will enjoy this book. It is very real and you will find yourself pulling for this family that lived nearly ninety years ago, that held onto to hope to the very end.
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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