Daily Encouragement

December 14 – Jonah (my favorite OT book)

December 14
Jonah 1:1-4-11
Revelation 5:1-14
Psalm 133:1-3
Proverbs 29:26-27 

Jonah 1:1 – This wasn’t the first prophetic message of Jonah.  He was a popular prophet of victory, and we know he’s from Gath Hepher and that Jonah is a contemporary of Jeroboam II who reigned from 793-753 BC (2 Kings 14:23)

Jonah 1:2 – Why is Jonah afraid of preaching to Ninevah? It was the Assyrian hub, would grow into the largest city in the world during the 7th century BC. The Assyrians were a particularly brutal people, here’s an example of their artwork commemorating their victories.

Author’s photo, Oriental Institiute
Author’s Photo, Oriental Institute

The Assyrians in just a generation would brutally conquer the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC.

Jonah 1:3 – Count the times the word “down” is found. Down to Joppa, Down into the ship. Down into the sides (Jonah 1:5). Down to the bottoms of the mountains (Jonah 2:6).

Jonah 1:4 – Let’s count who all obeys the Lord in this book:

  • The wind & the sea (Jonah 1:4, Jonah 1:15)
  • The lots (Jonah 1:7)
  • The crew (Jonah 1:16)
  • The great fish (Jonah 1:17, Jonah 2:10)
  • The people of Ninevah (Jonah 3:5)
  • The King of Ninevah (Jonah 3:6-7)
  • The gourd (Jonah 4:6)
  • The worm (Jonah 4:7)
  • The east wind (Jonah 4:8)

Jonah obeys eventually, but reluctantly.

Jonah 1:5

Jonah 1:9 – Does Jonah really fear the LORD God? The mariners appear to fear the Lord more  (Jonah 1:10, Jonah 1:14) and then fear the LORD “exceedingly” (Jonah 1:16).

Jonah 1:13 – Doesn’t this picture look like us in our lives before we met Christ? The prospects look dim, our fear is great, our possessions are worthless (Jonah 1:5), and we need supernatural help (Jonah 1:15). The Psalmist writes about a similar situation (Psalm 107:28-29). Peter knew of Jonah and the Psalmist, and when in a similar situation, effectively declared Jesus to be the LORD God of Israel (Matthew 14:28).

Jonah 2:6 – From ICR: “bottoms of the mountains. In Jonah’s day, so far as we know, men had no means to explore the sea floor, yet Jonah somehow knew that mountains had “roots” extending deep into the earth’s crust. In fact, this may even be another way of referring to his descent into “hell.”

Jonah 2:7 – Like Hezekiah, Jonah prayed only when it was pretty late in the game.

Jonah 3:4 – Notice his message was just 8 words. 

Jonah 4:2 – Jonah is quoting Joel 2:13 almost verbatim! Joel was written about 50 years before Jonah’s ministry. Jonah isn’t just a mouthpiece for the LORD – he’s able to quote Scripture verbatim!

Jonah 4:11 – Jesus loves the little children, yes all the children of the world! 

Revelation 5:5 – Ron Hamilton wrote a great song based on this verse, reminding us not to weep because of the Lamb!


Revelation 5:12-13 – George Frederic Handel incorporated this text into Handel’s Messiah.


Revelation 5:14 – The only one to be worshipped is the LORD God. See Revelation 22:9, Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8, Romans 1:25, Colossians 2:18.

Psalm 133:1 – May we be united in the truth and living in peace (Ephesians 4:3). Sadly quarrelsome brethren have destroyed many a church.

Proverbs 29:27 – You can’t make everyone happy! Better to have the right kind of enemies than the wrong kind of friends!

Daily Encouragement

December 13 – The Anonymous Prophets

December 13
Obadiah 1:1-21
Revelation 4:1-11
Psalm 132:1-18
Proverbs 29:24-25 

Obadiah 1:1 – From J. Vernon McGee:

The name Obadiah means “servant of Jehovah.” He is one of four prophets about whom we know absolutely nothing except that he wrote prophecy. The other three prophets are Habakkuk, Haggai, and Malachi. These four prophets are cloaked in anonymity. Obadiah is like a ghost writer in that he is there, but we do not know him. He lived up to his name, for he was a servant of Jehovah. A servant boasts of no genealogy neither exploits nor experiences. He doesn’t push himself forward. He has to demonstrate by what he does that he can even claim the place of a servant. So Obadiah is just a prophet who wrote one of the great prophecies of the Scripture.


Obadiah 1:4 – The LORD is serious about pride. Why? It can lead to violations of every commandment. And everything we have to be proud of, is given to us from Him. So is the root of pride ingratitude?

Obadiah 1:12 – Speaking of pride, this specific type of pride is known in German as schadenfreude. 

Obadiah 1:21 – Amos was a Judean sent to the Northern Kingdom. Obadiah was sent to Edom. Jonah was sent to Ninevah. Notice that God is implying that His standards are not local/tribal but universal. That assumes that those without specific revelation are accountable – i.e. general revelation is enough to condemn them (Paul will amplify this point in Romans 2:15).

Revelation 4:1 – That’s a strange thing – a door opens in heaven and John is told to come up to the door! How could he? He didn’t – God told Him what He would do – and then proceeded to do it. Just like the rest of Revelation – God is telling us what He will do, and He is getting ready to do it!

By the way, we’ve read about this in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. A voice like a trumpet will call out “Come up hither,” and then we will be caught up like John was. 


Revelation 4:4 – Who are the four and twenty elders?  The 12 Tribes and the 12 Apostles – united together in the day when “all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).

Revelation 4:6 – Yes one day we can sing HIs praise as we gather by the crystal sea.


Revelation 4:11 – This is a great verses to meditate on. Thou Art Worthy is almost word perfect KJV, and great for meditating.


Psalm 132:12 – Notice the conditions of the Davidic Covenant. In Psalm 132:11 we see that the LORD swore that He will set David’s children on the throne, but He did not say which ones. In Jeremiah 22:30, for example, God says Jehoiachin’s line is over.

Proverbs 29:24 – As we say today, “There is no honor among thieves.”

Daily Encouragement

December 12 – Amos and the Famine of the Word of the LORD

December 12
Amos 7:1-9:15
Revelation 3:7-22
Psalm 131:1-3
Proverbs 29:23 

Amos 7:3 – Notice how powerful prayer is? God’s judgment by grasshoppers was stopped. Judgment by fire was stopped in Amos 7:6. Similar to Abraham in Genesis 18:16-33. Prayer changes things. If you have been praying for God’s mercy on America – we’ve seen it in His continued protection. But let’s make use of this window of opportunity!

Amos 7:10 – Sadly today we have false doctrine spread by our political establishment. Baptismal regeneration was taught at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral. This is no different from today.  J. Vernon McGee does a masterful job visualizing this story happening today – below is merely an excerpt, I encourage you to read his whole description of this situation.

Amos preached the Word of God. Many people were moved, and some turned to God; but he disturbed the liberal element. Organized religion in Bethel, the worship of Baal and of the golden calf, got together. They had the ecumenical movement going there, so they had the same program. If you don’t believe anything, my friend, there is nothing to keep you apart. If I don’t believe anything and you don’t believe anything, we can get together. That is the ecumenical movement, and it was going great guns even in that day….

They had a mass meeting of all the religions in Bethel—it was really the first meeting of the World Council of Churches—and the motto of this first meeting was, “Away with Amos, away with Amos.” And the inevitable happened at this meeting: they appointed a committee chairman, Amaziah, to go and confront Amos. Amaziah was a priest who had gone into idolatry. (Does all of this sound modern to you? It’s the same old story; we think it’s modern, but this sort of thing has been happening ever since man got out of the Garden of Eden.) Amaziah was the hired hand of religion. He was polished, he was educated, he was proud, he was scholarly, he was pious, and he was a classic example of a pseudosaint.


Amos 7:12 – Amos is dismissed and told to flee (reminds me of Psalm 11:1) to Judah where he can earn a living preaching to a receptive audience. But Amos cannot go – the LORD said these are His people (Amos 7:15). Notice that phrase “prophesy unto my people Israel.” God loves His wayward people. We are commanded to preach to His people!

Amos 8:5 – Notice the two things that distress the Almighty. They observed the Sabbath (4th Commandment) physically, but not with their heart. They violated the 8th Commandment thru the false balance. Notice how often this is condemned in Scripture (Leviticus 19:35-36, Deuteronomy 25:13-16, Proverbs 11:1, Proverbs 16:11, Proverbs 20:10, Proverbs 20:23, Ezekiel 45:10-12, Hosea 12:7, Micah 6:10-11).

Amos 8:11 – US Senator Zell Miller (D-Georgia) quoted this verse in 2004 and talked about the famine of the word of the LORD in America today on the floor of the US Senate (watch on C-SPAN).

Amos 9:3 – Why does God talk about the top of Carmel? Because it is high above Israel and has an incredible view. Near the statute of Elijah commemorating his defeat of the prophets of Baal, is the peak of the mountain. Yours truly took this panorama photo from the top of Carmel.

View from Mount Carmel, photo by the Author

Amos 9:10 – The sad truth is that sinners will die. Eternal death is awaiting, yet if we repent and turn to Jesus we can enjoy incredible promises! Amos 9:13 – there will not be time enough to gather in the overabundant harvest that is coming! God’s judgment will come to an end (Amos 9:15).

Revelation 3:8 – We don’t have to have a lot of strength, we just need to keep His Word and go forward!

Revelation 3:10 – John Ankerberg talks with both John Walvoord and Jimmy DeYoung about this verse, that it outlines the case for the “secret rapture,” a pejorartive according to GotQuestions.

Revelation 3:17 – The Laodiceans are similar to the Israelites – they are unaware of their spiritual condition – “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” The answer is again repentance (Revelation 3:19).

Revelation 3:20 – Jesus wants to dine with you!

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Psalm 131:1 – Remember James 4:6?

Proverbs 29:23 – And yet another warning on pride! 

Daily Encouragement

December 11 – The verse quoted out of context.

December 11
Amos 4:1-6:14
Revelation 2:18-3:6
Psalm 130:1-8
Proverbs 29:21-22 

Amos 4:2 – Not much has changed between ancient Egyptian fish hooks and today’s fish hooks.

Amos 4:6 – “Cleanness of teeth” is not referring to good dental care, but is part of the “sarcasm” of this passage. Note the invitation to transgression in Amos 4:4, a leavened sacrifice in Amos 4:5, want of bread in Amos 4:6, and a lack of water in Amos 4:7. It seems likely that the cleanness of teeth refers to lack of eating.

Amos 4:7 – Notice God’s control of weather. Jesus confirmed in Matthew 5:45 that the Father in Heaven “sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Notice the point God made – withholding rain from one city, to make people go to another city. They would go long distances for water, but no distance for God (Amos 4:8). Yes God is the former of mountains, and the creator of wind (Amos 4:13).

Amos 5:4 – “Seek ye me” is repeated in Amos 5:6, Amos 5:8. Note he contrasts this with their rituals (Amos 5:21).

Amos 5:24 – This verse has been quoted by such people as Martin Luther King Jr and former FBI Director James Comey. However, usually the context isn’t brought out – people with one foot in worship of Yahweh (Amos 5:22), and one foot in the worship of Moloch (Amos 5:26).  If you’re going to use this verse, you better be committed to the pro-life cause.

Amos 6:7 – The first captives are the ones who are enjoying the luxury of the day.

Revelation 2:20 – The last recorded words of Jesus and we’re being warned about  tolerance. The buzzword of today is the antithesis of commitment to Christ.

Revelation 2:23 – When we receive our works, what will you get?

Revelation 3:5 – Who are the overcomers? In Romans 8:37 it’s identified as us – the more than conquerors. But it’s nothing that we have done, but “through him that loved us.” We can overcome thru His love! 1 John 4:4 reminds us that we have overcome, because “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 

Psalm 130:5 – This year we’ve been hoping in His Word! Keep waiting for the LORD!

Proverbs 29:21 – The importance of mentorship – speaking of if you haven’t seen The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, you’re missing a great movie.

Daily Encouragement

December 10 – Who was Amos?

December 10
Amos 1:1-3:15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 

Amos 1:1 – Who was Amos? A herdsman as opposed to the influential Isaiah who lived at the same time. In Amos 7:14 we’ll see “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.” He was a few miles southeast of Bethlehem.

Tekoa in relation to Bethlehem

We can see, then, that Amos had to travel to his job. He was a migrant worker, if you please. His sheep and his sycamores pushed Amos far out into that desert. He was truly a farmer. He was a country rube. He was a rustic. He was a yokel and a hayseed. He was a country preacher. He was a clumsy bumpkin who was “all thumbs” among the ecumenical preachers up yonder in Bethel. But before you laugh at Amos, may I say this? He was one of God’s greatest men, and he was a remarkable individual.

J Vernon McGee

Amos 2:3 – Judgment on Damascus, Gaza, Ashdod, Tyrus, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and now Judah! Why? “they have despised the law of the LORD and have not kept his commandments”

Amos 2:12 – Nazarites were forbidden from drinking (Numbers 6:3).

Amos 3:15 – What’s a house of ivory? Probably meant that the house was full of ivory artifacts.

Author’s Photo, Oriental Institute, Chicago.

Revelation 2:1 – Jimmy DeYoung has done a documentary on the 7 Churches of Revelation:

Revelation 2:2 – Jesus appreciated the intolerance of the Ephesians!  They recognized the importance of the doctrine (Acts 2:42), but tried them who were false apostles.

Revelation 2:4 –  The Ephesians were good separatists, but they forgot the reason they separated – they loved Jesus more than they loved error! 

Revelation 2:10 – Not exactly your best life now!  But we have a promise – for those faithful unto death, Christ offers us the crown of life! 

Revelation 2:13-14 – These churches have unique problems! Pergamos hadn’t denied Jesus, but they tolerated false teaching. They needed to separate from the false teachers (see Ephesus in Revelation 2:4)!

Psalm 129:4 – What does it mean to say “The LORD is Righteous”? From BlueLetterBible:

God’s righteousness, or justice, is an attribute that leads Him to do only those things that are right. Because God is righteous He must judge evil. God’s justice allows Him to reward those who have been faithful to Him. Someday He will rule in absolute righteousness.


Proverbs 29:20 – Like James says, “Be swift to hear and slow to speak!”

Daily Encouragement

December 9 – The only book with a blessing for hearers

December 9
Joel 1:1-3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18 

Joel 1:4 – This event is the biggest event in 5 generations (Joel 1:2-3), and has 4 layers of destruction (Joel 1:4). 

Joel 1:14 – A solemn assembly. Several groups have put out guidelines for calling a “solemn assembly” including the Southern Baptist Convention, Family Research Council,  and Presbyterian Mission.

Joel 2:10 – These events look like the events of the fifth seal (Revelation 6:12-13), and are reiterated in Joel 2:31).

Joel 2:13 – “Rend your heart, and not your garments.” God wants internal, actual change, not just external conformity.

Notice who God is – “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” That’s almost word for word from Jonah 4:2, which showed that Jonah was familiar with these writings.

Joel 2:25 – How’s this for a promise – in spite of four layers of destruction (Joel 1:4), God is promising to restore the lost years!

Joel 2:28 – This was quoted as a fulfillment in Acts 2:17 in Peter’s Pentecost message.

Joel 2:32 – This is almost an exact quote of Romans 10:13! Those days are now here – the message of salvation is offered universally!

Revelation 1:1

Revelation 1:3 – Revelation can be hard to follow, but it comes with a blessing for those who read and hear this book!

Revelation 1:5 – Yes, Jesus washed us in His blood! 

Revelation 1:11 – Jimmy DeYoung has produced a documentary “Let them Hear” – you can watch it online at ChristianCinema.com.

Psalm 128:1 – Speaking of blessings, let’s be sure to fear the LORD!

Proverbs 29:18 – More blessings for those who keep the law!

Daily Encouragement

December 8 – What on earth is Admah and Zeboim?

December 8
Hosea 10:1-14:9
Jude 1:1-25
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 29:15-17 

Hosea 10:12 – This chapter has been difficult to read, but this verse is clear. “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD.” A.W. Tozer preached a message on this verse. Also, from Steve Pettit Team:

Hosea 10:1315% of people pray something bad they did will not be discovered.

Hosea 11:1 – Notice as God retells the story of Israel. Ransomed from Egypt thru the Passover. Immediately sacrificing to Baal (Hosea 11:2), bent to backsliding (Hosea 11:7).

Hosea 11:8  –  What on earth is Admah and Zeboim? They are allies of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2-3) that were likewise destroyed (Deuteronomy 29:23). Will God destroy Israel like Sodom & Gomorrah? No (Hosea 11:9), He will make them walk after Him (Hosea 11:10).

Hosea 12:6 – In spite of all the judgment God is bringing, He pleads, “turn thou to thy God.”

Hosea 13:4 – Notice the comparison to the First Commandment (Exodus 20:2-3).

Hosea 13:14 – God is more powerful than death and the grave! (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

Hosea 13:16 – How could God be so cruel? GotQuestions compares to Nahum 3:10:

The immediate context speaks of the defeat of the Egyptian city of Thebes by Assyria, of which Nineveh was the capital. When Thebes was defeated by Assyria in 663 B.C., the detestable acts of Nahum 3:10 took place. The Assyrians sold people into captivity and killed infants (cf. Hosea 13:16). The infants were likely killed by the Assyrians as a gratuitous act of cruelty and because the infants could not be easily exiled.


Hosea 14:1 – Calling out again to Israel – “Return unto the LORD thy God.” Aren’t you thankful for His patience with us? How do we return? Repent (Hosea 14:2), and turn (Hosea 14:3), and be healed (Hosea 14:4).

Jude 1 – According to Insight.org and J. Vernon McGee, Jude is the half-brother of Jesus, yet introduces himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ.” McGee makes an interesting point:

Neither James nor Jude believed in the messianic claims of Jesus until after His resurrection. It was the Resurrection that convicted them and confirmed to them that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Up until that time they thought He had just gone “off” on religion, that He was, as the Scripture puts it, beside Himself. But after His resurrection they became believers. You see, it was possible to grow up in a home with Jesus in the days of His flesh and not recognize Him.


Jude 4 – Again, heresy in the early church! What does Jude show? Doctrinal error (Jude 4), Promised destruction (Jude 5 – effective destruction, Jude 6 – everlasting chains, Jude 7 – eternal fire.)

Jude 14 – No Jude isn’t endorsing the extrabiblical alleged Book of Enoch.  But He is showing that for hundreds of years before Noah the Preacher of Righteousness(2 Peter 2:5), God did not leave Himself without a remnant prophet.

Jude 17 – 1) The brother of Jesus is submitting to his brother’s disciples.  2) Jude 18 is a good description of today.

Jude 22-23 – Great verses today “Of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22), and “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” Let’s remember that hell is real, and as someone once said, “The Most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today.

Psalm 127:1 – A great reminder to those of us who like to build projects – ask God what He thinks first!

Proverbs 29:16 – Thankfully the wicked reign is not forever!

Daily Encouragement

December 7 – Sow the wind, Reap the whirlwind.

December 7
Hosea 6:1-9:17
3 John 1:1-14
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14 

Hosea 6:1 – We’ve read so much about judgment in the previous chapters, we have hope in this verse. Return to the LORD and He will heal, He will bind us up.

Hosea 6:2 – While other commentators disagree, Matthew Henry sees this as pointing to the Resurrection!

But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ; and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we are to look for no other.


Hosea 6:6 – Notice this continuing theme in the Bible? Jesus used this verse to argue with the Pharisees that the disciples did not violate God’s Sabbath law, only man’s Sabbath extension, and that far from being “less holy” – the Pharisees were hypocrites.

Hosea 7:8 – “a cake not turned” gives us the picture of someone “half-baked.” He is weakened but “he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:9). 

Hosea 7:13 – Notice this imagery: God redeemed them, they lie against Him. God strengthened them, and they plot evil against Him.

Hosea 8:7 – This phrase has gone into popular culture:

The phrase was famously used by Arthur “Bomber” Harris in response to the Blitz of 1940 when he said:

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else, and nobody was going to bomb them.

At RotterdamLondonWarsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind.[2]


Hosea 9:14-17 – God takes sin seriously.

3 John 2 – Is John creating a universal promise of the “prosperity gospel?” That we should be “healthy, wealthy, and rich?” Or is it just a greeting and expression of concern for his friend Gaius, similar to Paul’s request for the cloak at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13). The key is looking at the verse – Paul says “thou” not “you all” (or y’all as a Southerner might render it). Gaius must have been having health and financial issues, but Paul is encouraging him by recognizing that it’s more important that his soul prospers than his health prospers.

3 John 4 – In case you missed it – Paul is most excited by his children walking in truth, than in financial prosperity.

3 John 9-10 – We’re still in the first century and we have serious problems in the church! Thankfully we’re not alone in the stream of church history with problems!

Psalm 126:5 – Matt Black recorded a song based on this verse. “Someone prayed for me, They saw my agony, And they sowed with tears of sorrow for my soul. God did a work in me, Sin’s record he destroyed, Yes they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Proverbs 29:12 – Interesting – the servants bear the guilt for the decisions of their ruler. Similarly we bear the guilt for Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-14).

Daily Encouragement

December 6 – What’s the difference between a fool and a wise man?

December 6
Hosea 4:1-5:15
2 John 1:1-13
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 29:9-11 

Hosea 4:2 – Note the sins: Swearing (Leviticus 19:12/3rd Commandment), Lying (9th Commandment), Killing (6th Commandment), Stealing (8th Commandment), Adultery (7th Commandment). The LORD is not even pointing out the “minor sins” – the 613 commands of the Torah, but just the “Big Ten!”

Hosea 4:6 – Many people use this phrase – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” but they ignore the context. The knowledge is knowing the Law, and obeying the Law!

Hosea 4:13 – We’re back to the 2nd Commandment – and God ties the 2nd Commandment to the 7th Commandment. The argument being, if you’re not faithful to me, your spouses will not be faithful to you.

Hosea 5:15 – Do we take spiritual adultery as seriously as God takes it? Do we realize that God takes it as seriously as we take physical adultery? Do we know that God will let us suffer the consequences of our sin until we seek His face?

2 John 1:1 – Who is the “elect lady”? GotQuestions notes that she has a sister, and is part of the church, but that is all that is known. Chuck Missler suggests that it might be Mary, the mother of Jesus based on Jesus entrusting Mary to John’s care. Also Mary had a sister (John 19:25).

2 John 1:5 – In this short epistle we have a few commands: “love one another” (2 John 1:5), “walk after his commandments” (2 John 1:6), and “abide in the doctrine” (2 John 1:9). These are similar to the theme of John’s gospel.

  • Love!  (John 15:12) – 57 times in John’s gospel.
  • Obey! (John 14:15) – If Love, then Keep!
  • Believe! (John 20:31) – That’s the point of the writings!
VIEW OF JERUSALEM AND THE SURROUNDING JUDEAN MOUNTAINS PHOTOGRAPHED IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY BY FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER, BONFILS. öéìåí öáò îñåó äîàä ä 19 ùì äöìí äöøôúé áåðôéñ. áöéìåí, ðåó èéôåñé ùì äøé éäåãä åéøåùìéí.
Balage Balogh (www.Archaeologyillustrated.com)/FreeBibleimages.org.

Psalm 125:2 – If you’ve been to Jerusalem, the mountains around the city are incredibly impressive. Deep valleys, tall heights, and sharp cliffs. This Psalm is part of the “Song of Ascents” from Psalm 120-134, songs to sing while climbing the road to Jerusalem.

Proverbs 29:11 – No comment necessary!

Daily Encouragement

December 5 – Hosea, and why does God care about the poor?

December 5
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8 

Hosea 1:1 – Hosea is a unique story. Rich Christiano has produced a great movie on the book of Hosea, Amazing Love:


Hosea 1:2 – WHOA! Did God really tell Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife? And Hosea did (Hosea 1:3)!

Hosea 1:7 – For context, Hosea is written shortly before the fall of the Northern Kingdom. We’ll read this idea again in Zechariah 4:6, and we’ve read this idea in Psalm 44:3.

Hosea 1:10 – God appeared to disown His people in Hosea 1:9, but now we read that God will regather His people and reclaim them (Hosea 1:11).

Hosea 2:6 – Ever find yourself running into a wall? Sometimes God closes a door to block us from what we want, to drive us back to our God. Sounds a bit like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

Hosea 2:16 – So we have a play on words here.

  • Ishi – My Man / Husband / Love
  • Baali – My Owner / Lord / Master

The LORD/Jehovah is saying that He supported his bride Israel, even while she sought other lovers (Hosea 2:8), now He will chasten her (Hosea 2:11), but then He will woo her (Hosea 2:14). He will change her heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Israel will not be under a circumcision of flesh, but a circumcision of heart.  Now the relationship is not fear (Baali) but Love (Ishi).

Notice the contrast – the LORD/Jehovah is saying I don’t want to hear Baalim (Lord) – because you’re serving Baal instead of me.  Baal is a cruel Baali (Lord) – Baal is using you for what the LORD/Jehovah  has given you. But the LORD/Jehovah will bring you back and will give you even more.

Hosea 2:23 – Lo-ruhamah (no mercy) and Lo-ammi (not mine) will become mercy and mine!

Hosea 3:2 – What a great picture of what Christ did for us – God redeemed us!

Hosea 3:5 – Another reference to “David their King” – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all prophesied that there would be a King David “in the latter days.”

1 John 5:1 – Do you need assurance of your salvation? This is the book for you!  What do you believe about Jesus? Was He born of the flesh (1 John 4:2-3)? Is He born of God? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God’s people? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God (1 John 5:2)? Do you keep His commands (1 John 5:3)? These are some of the symptoms – but we’ll get to the key verse in a bit:

1 John 5:13 – How can we know that we can have eternal life? Believing on the name of the son of God! In Hebrew, at five letter intervals, you can see the name of Jesus hidden in the phrase.

1 John 5:15 – Because we believe in Him we can have our prayer answered! 

Psalm 124:8 – Thank God that He is on our side!

Proverbs 29:7 – Why does God care so much about the poor? What is the difference between “middle class” and poor? Possession of money. Can we boast of the money we have? Only if it is truly ours – and we cannot say that – all we have is His. Perhaps it’s another extension of humility (James 4:6) – whether we are proud in our thoughts, or in our wallets, all we have is God’s.