Welcome to Revelation

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of Revelation.  Written in approximately 95 A.D., the book of Revelation was written by the apostle John while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for preaching about Jesus.  While on Patmos, John receives multiple visions which he understands to be from Jesus Christ and is told to write them down.  The result is the book of Revelation, a highly significant book that describes what will happen before, during and after the return (second coming) of Jesus Christ.  This book also shows how many Old Testament prophecies will be fulfilled.

Today’s passage is Revelation 1:1-8.  Let’s go!

Revelation 1:1-2 (NIV) 
1  The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
2  who testifies to everything he saw–that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

On verses 1-2:  Here John makes clear that what he is writing about is not something he himself manufactured.  Rather what John is writing down is “the revelation of Jesus Christ”.  What John is about to share is what was revealed to him as “the word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

Jesus Makes All The Difference

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Zephaniah 3:1-19.  Let’s go!

Zephaniah 3:1-7 (NIV) 
1  Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!
2  She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God.
3  Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning…….

On verses 1-7:  Chapter 3 of Zephaniah begins with God expressing His utter displeasure with the city of Jerusalem.  He describes the people of Jerusalem as rebellious and unholy (v1), disobedient and unteachable (v2a), refusing to trust God or draw near to Him (v2b).  He describes Jerusalem’s political and military leaders as lions and wolves (v3), her prophets as arrogant and deceitful (v4), and her priests as hypocrites (v5).  The only One righteous in Jerusalem is the Lord Himself (v5), who “does no wrong” (v5) and who continues to act justly despite the unrighteousness around Him (v5).  In verses 6 and 7, the Lord laments how despite disciplining Jerusalem with hardship, the people of Jerusalem continued to act corruptly.

Plunder Hell, Populate Heaven

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Zephaniah 2:1-15.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-3:  Here Zephaniah implores the people of Judah to seek the Lord and to humble themselves before it is too late, “before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes upon you” (v2).  Later on in this chapter, Zephaniah will introduce the idea of the “remnant”, that is, a group within the people of Judah who continued to seek the Lord and humble themselves before Him despite the widespread sin and rebellion around them.  Zephaniah and other Old Testament prophesy about how the Lord will preserve and rescue this remnant from the destruction He pronounced on the land of Judah.

Beyond Appearances, God Looks at the Heart

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of Zephaniah, a short book with a powerful message and part of what is sometimes known as the “Minor Prophets” section of the Old Testament.

Today’s passage is Zephaniah 1:1-19. Let’s go!

Zephaniah 1:1 (NIV)
1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:

On verse 1: Who was Zephaniah? According to some scholars, the fact that Zephaniah traces his ancestry back four generations in verse 1 suggests that Zephaniah was a man of high social standing and quite possibly the great grandson of King Hezekiah. Zephaniah received this word from the Lord and wrote this book during the reign of Josiah, who reigned from 640 and 609 B.C.

Finding Hope Even When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Habakkuk 2:1-20.  Let’s go!

Habakkuk 3:1 (NIV) 
1  A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
 
On verse 1:  The book of Habakkuk reads like an ongoing dialogue between Habakkuk and the Lord.  In chapter 1 Habakkuk complains about why there is injustice and evil in the world, and the Lord responds.  Then Habakkuk questions how God could use the evil Babylonians as His chosen instrument.  In chapter 2 the Lord responds by saying that He will hold the Babylonians to account for their sin as well. In chapter 3 the book of Habakkuk ends with a song of praise from Habakkuk.  On “shigionoth” is probably a musical instruction for the musicians playing this song.

Write Down What God Says to You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Habakkuk 2:1-20.  Let’s go!

Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT2) 
1  I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint.

On verse 1:  You will find that in both chapters 1 and 2 of Habakkuk, there is an ongoing dialogue that takes place between Habakkuk and God.

In chapter 1, Habakkuk voices his complaint about why God allows injustice and evil to continue (v1-4), and God gives His answer (v5-11).  Habakkuk then voices a second complaint about how God could use wicked people to accomplish His purposes (v12-17).  Now in Chapter 2, Habakkuk decides to wait for God’s answer to his second complaint (2:1), and God will answer in verses 2 to 20.

What can we learn from this?  Let your prayer life not be a one way monologue to God, but a two way dialogue with God.  Don’t just talk to God.  Like Habakkuk, wait for God to speak and take the time to listen for Him.  It’s in the waiting and the listening that life changing things happen.

When God Doesn’t Do What You Expect Him To

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of Habakkuk.  Written approximately between 700 and 600 B.C., the book of Habakkuk is a short but powerful book by a prophet called Habakkuk.  In this book Habakkuk writes down his revelations from God at a time when Babylon is emerging as a world power and Habakkuk’s own nation of Israel is fraught with internal corruption.

Today’s passage is Habakkuk 1:1-17.  Let’s go!

Habakkuk 1:1 (NIV) 
1  The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.

On verse 1:  Little is known with certainty about Habakkuk, the author of this book.  In fact the very first line and the very last line of this book tell us more about Habakkuk then all the writing in between.  The first line tells us that Habakkuk was a prophet chosen by God.  The last line, “For the director of music.  On my stringed instruments” (Habakkuk 3:19), tells us that Habakkuk was a musician who probably played and wrote worship music for the temple where people worshiped the Lord.  The body of this book shows us that Habakkuk was sensitive to God’s voice, sensitive to the injustice he saw around him as well as the visions God was showing him. 

Stand in Awe of God’s Mercy

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is Nahum 3:1-19.  Let’s go!

Nahum 3:1-15, 19 (NIV) 
1  Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!
2  The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots!
3  Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses–……

On verses 1-15, 19:  Here in these verses Nahum describes with vivid imagery the destruction that Nineveh would experience.  In verses 8-10 Nahum compares Nineveh to Thebes of ancient Egypt and how despite all of its power and prosperity, the city still fell.
You might be asking, “How could God be so cruel to Nineveh?”  Keep these things in mind:

God had already shown mercy to Nineveh before, having warned the people of Nineveh in the past.  After initially repenting, the Ninevites eventually returned to being a centre for great wickedness and “endless cruelty” (v19), refusing to take seriously God’s warnings and God’s mercy.

Jesus, Your Lion of Judah

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Nahum 2:1-13.  Let’s go!
 
Nahum 2:1-2 (NIV) 
1  An attacker advances against you, [Nineveh]. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength! 
2  The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.
 
On verses 1-2:  In these two verses, Nahum envisions two things going on.  First, Nahum sees a siege attack against the powerful city of Nineveh, once known as the most powerful city in the world (v1).  Second, Nahum sees God restoring “the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste” (v2).

Jealous For You

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of Nahum.   Let’s go!

Nahum 1:1 (NIV) 
1  An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

On verse 1:  Here is some background info on the book of Nahum that you may find helpful:
According to many scholars, the book of Nahum was written between approximately 663 and 612 B.C. 
Not much is known about Nahum.  Nahum was a prophet who came from the village of Elkosh.  The whereabouts of the village of Elkosh are not known, although some scholars suggest that it is actually in Capernaum where Jesus would begin his ministry.  Capernaum literally means village of Nahum”.   

Nahum’s name means “comforter”.  This may seem odd given the doomy and gloomy message Nahum has here for the city of Nineveh.  That said, the book of Nahum also contains important words of comfort for Nahum’s own people of Judah.