The book of Jonah has always been a favorite of many over the years, not only because it has a really good story, but also because of the many lessons that can be taken from its text. To that end, there is one word that appears four times in this book that seems to have…
I feel that we see these same issues in regards to Christianity. One tool that I feel Satan uses to blur the line of truth is the manipulation of the flow of information. Many years ago, during the Dark Ages, they were confronted with a different issue — NEI, or Not Enough Information. In some cases the truth was locked away so that the information that people needed was not readily available to them. Today in many ways our issues are exactly the opposite, as we are confronted by too much information.
In Philippians 4, Paul talks about dealing with the extremes of life and working toward an attitude that in all things we do our best to be content with our surroundings. There will be times when things are going great, and times when they are not. But these types of things need to be placed in perspective when compared to our spiritual lives. Bad times are by definition, bad; but maybe they are also times that we can use to try and refocus our efforts and to push aside the day to day distractions that so easily seem to consume us. Maybe this is a time to meditate on where we are today and the direction of our lives, and see if any changes need to be made. Maybe times like these are OUR three days of blindness, so that we can emerge on the other side with a better spiritual perspective.
I’ve always wondered how the Children of Israel dealt with eating the same things day in and day out as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. How many men jokingly asked their wives, “What’s for dinner tonight?” How many recipes were exchanged as people tried to create subtle variations in their never changing diet? These things may or may not have happened, but we do know that eventually they tired from the constancy of their diet (Numbers 11). Writers outside of this time period referred to manna in a different light, calling it “the bread of heaven” and “angel’s food” (Psalm 78:24-25).
Visualize if you will a traditional well with a rope, pulley and bucket. Someone standing next to it at ground level would no doubt make certain assumptions as to what was below the surface. And as the bucket was slowly being raised back up to the surface, there would no doubt be a certain level of anticipation about the water that would soon arrive. And then the disappointment as the person pulls the bucket up that is only full of dust, with not even a hint of moisture. Peter says that’s what false prophets are like: they promise you water, they give you every indication that they are brimming with water, and when the time comes to deliver, you realize they have nothing to give.
Words like fellowship and communion convey the meaning that they could not be achieved individually but only as part of a group. And, to take this a little further, the implication in each of these is that it could only be satisfied through physical contact and not remote access. One thing that seems to muddy the waters at times is how some define the word church. In the New Testament, it comes from the Greek word ekklesia essentially meaning the assembly or congregation. In this we are not talking about brick and mortar, but the physical assembling of believers.