Welcome to the January edition of Good News, the monthly newsletter of the Fairview Park church of Christ! We hope that you find the articles below helpful, edifying, and true to the Bible. If you find the articles helpful in your Bible study, please forward this e-mail to a friend. May God bless you as you study his word!
The God Who Reverses
by Jacob Hudgins
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant”(Luke 1:46-48).
Change is a constant in life, yet it often seems to surprise us. Despite years of experience, we still tend to think that things will basically stay the same—powerful people will remain powerful, rich will remain rich, respected people will remain respected. Even when we see evil people humbled, we sometimes find ways to attribute that to impersonal forces like karma or “what goes around comes around.”
God saves his people. That has always been his promise and theme in the Bible. From the exodus from Egypt to the Judges in the promised land, God was with his people and caring for them. God was always in the midst of his peoples, whether they had recognized it or not. So when Zephaniah the prophet praises God, it revolves around him saving his people. In his praise, Zephaniah teaches us two vital lessons on God in our midst.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD”(Malachi 3:3).
Israel in Malachi’s day is immature and childishly obstinate. “‘I have loved you,’ says the LORD. But you say, ‘How have you loved us?’”(Mal 1:2). They challenge and argue with God and Malachi, his messenger. Particularly God is frustrated with their attitude toward worship: “But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD”(Mal 1:13). Something needs to change here.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah”(Jer 33:14).
We are used to people who don’t keep their word. Politicians offer the world on the campaign trail, yet often struggle to deliver. In business matters, signed contracts matter a lot more than words. With disturbing regularity we struggle to keep our commitments—from lunch appointments to marriage vows. When this is the case, it is easy to see how we could struggle with doubting that God will keep his word.
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