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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, March the 13th. I'm Mark , and I've gotten my Bible open. I've got my daily Bible reading schedule. I have coffee, which I really need since they took an hour of sleep from me Saturday night and early Sunday morning due to daylight savings time. But I don't have any sermon notes because, because I'm in Rogers, Arkansas where I began a gospel meeting yesterday with the downtown Church of Christ. So I wasn't at West Side . Can't talk about the sermon, just want to talk about Bible reading. Want to go swimming with Jonah? Let's get started. It is Monday and today we are reading the second chapter of the book of Jonah, and that really comes out of Jonah one verse 17. The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. This book just features constant twist and turns and surprises in nearly every verse. I didn't think a prophet of God would just up and rebel against God. And then I kind of thought maybe God would just strike him dead or let him drown. But in one of the most famous miracles in all the Bible, Jonah is saved by a specially prepared lifeboat. And it is not just any lifeboat, is it? It is a fish. God saves Jonah with a fish. I didn't see that coming. Now, let me give you a quick word about the fish. Sometimes people say Jonah and the whale, and then then Mr. Bible know it all, or someone who just means whale starts saying some things about it's not a whale. It can't be a whale because whales aren't fish, and I get where you're coming from. However, that business of dividing animals into different species and Fila and types, all that stuff we learned in high school biology that really began in the the 17 hundreds. So those categories, it's a mammal, it's a fish. All of that is hundreds and hundreds of years after the time of Jonah, nobody standing on the deck of that boat after they had chunked Jonah into the water saw this giant creature, sea creature and said, Hey, look at that fish. And then one of the other sailors said, no, no, you know that's a mammal. And so it's not a fish, it's stop that . That doesn't apply here in any any shaped form or fashion. Those kinds of categories did not exist then. It's a fish, it's a big fish, which probably in Jonah's time a whale would have fit that category pretty well. But whatever it is, it's a specially prepared kind of fish. And I'm not gonna get into all kinds of discussion about what fish we know of today that can hold a man in its belly for this long. One rider calculated how many cubic feet of air that Jonah would need for three days and arrived at what size fish. Then you'd have to, nope , nope , nope . God did this. God did this. As easily as God brought the storm in chapter one, God brought the fish in chapter two, a miracle, remember is a divine act beyond human replication or explanation. I'm quoting from one scholar, and that is a great definition of a miracle. How did Jesus rise from the dead? How does a three day old body reanimate, what about this? And no, no, God does that. God knows how to do that and God does it. And that is exactly what happened here with the whale, with the fish, with this living submarine that will then transport Jonah all the way to nva . What is important here is not arguing about the critter in the water. Can you have critters in water? Water critter water, Beastie, how about that? What's important is Jonah two verse one. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish. What happens next is that Jonas's prayer is recorded for us and it is a prayer made up of Psalms. It is a prayer made from many pieces of various Psalms contained of course in the book of Psalms. That's not really surprising. I think if you were called on to offer a Thanksgiving prayer or a Thanksgiving song, you might very well and you would do very well to go to the book of Psalms and start a little bit of this and a little bit of that to put it all together. And so the prayer in a very Hebrew poetic kind of way draws from or El alludes to no less than 19 Psalms like 3, 5, 11, 16, 18, 1 42, 1 43, 1 44. And like I said, several others. Interestingly, a lot of these psalms that are being drawn from are very messianic, which is interesting in view of Jesus' use of the sign of Jonah. But there are a couple of typical elements in a Psalm of Thanksgiving that are here, a summary of answered prayer, God, you have been good to me. And then reports of the personal crisis that I've been through, and then a discussion of the divine rescue. And then there is a vow of praise God, because you did this, I'm going to offer a song of Thanksgiving for you, which of course is what this is. So that's Jonah two . It's a Psalm of Thanksgiving and you get that right away, Jonah Tutu . I called out to the Lord outta my distress and he answered me. So there is the report of divine rescue that's in the past tense there important notes here would be verse four. Then I said, I'm driven away from your sight yet again, I shall look upon your holy temple. That's called repentance. This is a new Jonah. And Jonah says, I'm going to do what's right, but the waters closed over me. Verse five, I was at the roots of the mountains, that's the bottom of the ocean. And I was going down, down, down. Remember in chapter one, the down metaphor, 1, 3, 1 5 going down into the ship, down, down. I was going down, down, down to the bottom of the ocean , the doors of death. Verse six were about to clang shut on me forever and then God did it. Oh Lord, my God, you brought me up my life from the pit, God saved him. The pit is one of the ways the Old Testament often references the idea of death, the realm of the dead . And this concludes then in verse nine, when Jonah says, I will sacrifice unto you. Remember the pagan sailors, they made sacrifices in one 16. So Jonah finally has caught up to pagan sailors, and so he is ready to do God's bidding. That results verse 10 in the Lord speaking to the fish and had vomited Jonah up upon the dry land. We don't know how that works and what that looked like or what Jonah felt like being barfed up by a fish. Interestingly, the fish obeys everybody in Jonah obeys except Jonah. So let's see where Jonah's gonna go with that. Once we get Jonah to Neva , that's tomorrow. On Tuesday we read Jonah chapter three, see you then. Welcome to Tuesday. And today we're reading the third chapter of Jonah Alten verses of that. And I think I'm just going to nominate the book of Jonah as being the most surprising book ever. I never thought, like I said yesterday, that God's prophet would just flagrantly and completely disobey him. Surprise Jonah, did. I never thought pagan sailors would call out to God in a storm. Surprise they did. And I certainly never thought God would save a disobedient and rebellious profit from drowning. Surprise. God did exactly that. Guess what's going to happen when Jonah preaches in the wicked city of Neva ? You'll never guess in a million years. But the word of the Lord came verse one to Jonah the second time saying, arise, go to Neva , that great city and call out against it. The message that I tell you, please notice here that there's no discussion about where he got vomited up and how far it was from there to Neva , how he got to Neva , how long it took. None of that matters. What matters is that the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. Surprise, he got a second chance. And this time Jonah is a change man . He is a new man, verse three, and he obeys God. There is an emphasis here on not adjusting the message. Call out verse two, call out against it. The message that I tell you, and Neva is a great city. It is a gigantic city. There has been tales of Neva being 50 miles across and archeology has largely eliminated that. But it was for an ancient city, enormous, seven and a half miles in circumference. And then there would be the surrounding environs and suburbs and all of that business. So it would take a long time for Jonah to work its way , uh, work his way across this great city. And he begins to preach. And the surprise is the people of Neva verse five, believe God, they believe God's message and they start repenting. Everybody from the king on down is repenting. There's proclamations and in fact there are Persian records of animals being made part of a mourning process. So there's nothing there abouts about man manor beast being , uh, being part of this repentance and putting sack cloth even on beast. There's nothing there about that that should shock us. The Persians did that kind of thing in verse eight talks about violence, and that was, that was kind of a serious signature move. So this is very authentic and very real. And then verse 10, there's another surprise. I didn't think Nevo would repent and would God accept their repentance? I mean they're the Es sirians . They've done so much bad stuff. Surprise. God accepts their repentance and the city is spared. No one perishes. I I don't even know what to say. It's so surprising. Maybe the thing to say is God's grace isn't just amazing. God's grace is surprising and there are more surprises to come See you on Wednesday when we read Jonah chapter four. Welcome to Wednesday. And today we complete the surprising book of Jonah. We're reading Jonah chapter four. Jonah kind of drops out of sight in chapter three. The city of Neva becomes the focus there, but he's back here. It displeased Jonah four verse one. It displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was angry. The word for displeased, here is the word from chapter three and verse 10, God relented of the disaster. Literally that is evil God relented of the evil that he said he would do. Obviously the translators put the word evil there that confuses people. God can't do evil. So they've substituted the word disaster, same kind of idea. And so here it was evil to Jonah. It was a disaster to Jonah and he was exceedingly angry. One translator says Jonah hated what God had done. It made him furious. And the terms in the Hebrew are as strong as they possibly can be. God says, your angry, but I am a gracious God. Slow to anger merciful and slow to anger in abounding and steadfast love and relenting from disaster, which sounds an awful lot like God's disclosure to Moses in Exodus, the 34th chapter beginning about verse six, where God makes that great disclosure of who he is and what his character is all about. And Jonah's response to that is you're just doing what the whole Old Testament always says. You do forgive and act mercifully and gracious. I just knew it. I just knew this is how you would act. That's what Jonah is all about. Therefore, I just wanna die. I just want to die. In verse four, God asked the question of chapter four, do you have the right to be angry? Do you have the right to be angry? And the term for angry here is hot. And hot becomes important. A key idea in this fourth chapter, so surprising in chapter three that God relentless of the disaster that he had forecast for us, Syria and for Neva . And now it's just shocking. Jonah ought to be elated that people listen to his preaching of all these minor prophets. Nobody ever listened to Jose . Nobody ever listened to Amos. Nobody listens to any of these guys. Oh Jonah, everybody listens to Jonah. They repent and he's furious about it. Like I said, this is the most surprising book in the Bible. Maybe the su most surprising book ever. So Jonah props himself out in uh , props himself up in verse five and decides he's gonna watch. He just sits under the shade until he should see what would become of the city. And I wonder if he's thinking this repentance isn't gonna last very long and God is gonna get him . I'll just stay here until the fireworks start. But God appointed verse six, same word as for the great fish in chapter one in verse 17. And the same word as will be used of the worm in verse seven. And the scorching east wind in verse eight, E s v does a good job here. It's appointed, appointed, appointed. So this is the action of God in God saves Jonah from the discomfort just like he saved Neva from destruction. And so you get this big mood swing and Jonah was very glad. Verse six. He's just all happy about all of that. And then the wind comes and the worm comes, and then the wind comes and the the plant dies. And Jonah is miserable. And once again, Jonah, he's so stubborn and he's so resistant and he says, I just want to die. I just want to die. And so God again says, do you do well to be angry for the plant? And Jonah spouts off to God and says, yes, I have every right to be so angry. He is a piece of work, isn't he? Jonah is something. So the Lord says, you have pity on the plant. Shouldn't I have pity on none Ofa ? Verse 11, you can't end this chapter without noting God's concern for animals. God says, the animals alone make it worse . Sparing the city, thus showing that God does in fact care for animal life. Sometimes someone's pet passes away and someone will say something about they're not made in the image of God, which of course is exactly correct and that you just get over yourself and you can get another one. Don't be hardhearted like that. God cares about animals. We should care about them as well. Of course, the major message here is don't be a Jonah, don't be a Jonah. Don't be all about yourself and your own people, your own little circle of folks and you just hate on everybody who isn't like you and especially people who don't know God as well as you do, be like God, who is so gracious and kind and wants all people to know him. Finally, I'll give you this, Jesus, Jesus is the solution to Jonah's problems. As you may know, Jesus cites the sign of Jonah in reference to his time in the tomb. Matthew chapter 12 beginning in verse 38. And there are incredible points of correspondence . Jonah's prayer in chapter two, he's drawn from messianic Psalms. Jonah died. He buried and he arose. And then of course his preaching causes repentance after his death barrel and resurrection, if I can call it death barrel and resurrection, which of course is exactly what the preaching of Jesus causes after Jesus' death barrel in resurrection. But really the issue here is how Jonah says The Assyrians don't deserve to be forgiven. They are terrible. They deserve the wrath of God. Jonah says, it's not fair. You need to get 'em. Get 'em, God, just get 'em. And if you don't get 'em, then you're not being fair. And I'm standing there beside Jonah and I'm thinking, well he is right . These people don't deserve to be forgiven. And the truth is, I don't deserve to be forgiven. So how can God be just and be merciful? And Jesus is the answer to that. Jesus comes and bears the just punishment of our sins so that God can be both just and the justifi fire . Jesus unlocks the problem of Jonah by bringing grace here. Jesus brings surprising, amazing grace to sinner who don't deserve it. It that is the ultimate message of the book of Jonah. We'll think more about God's work as we turn back to the historical section of our reading plan this year, we need to make sure that we're rooted in the timeframe that's going on tomorrow. We're back in the history of God's people. We'll be in second kings. See you tomorrow. Welcome to Thursday and you'll need to turn your Bible back to second Kings. We're reading in two Kings 15, beginning in verse eight through verse 16. This Chronicles Israel slide into disaster. And there are some issues if you add up reigns of various kings and so forth there , they're always, the math nerds are gonna find something where the numbers don't work out exactly correct. And I , I really can't deal with all of that in a podcast. Chronologically speaking, we're probably dealing with probably only 20 years here, about 7 53 to 7 32 in which there are five kings and four conspiracies. And probably the way to read eight to 16 today is as fast as you can because the accounts here are very brief. They are very terse . And the idea is to set up the rapid slide of Israel into complete lawlessness. They're not able to have any kind of stability politically, and they are going to be easy pickings for the Assyrians. And that's where this is all headed. And that's what we need to make sure that we are seeing. So first, it's Zechariah in verses eight to 12. He reigns only six months, verse eight. And then he is struck down at Iam, which may not be a city. That is a phrase that may mean in front of the people. So look then at verse 12, there's a promise that God had given. And guess what? God's promises always come to pass. And then let me have a swig of coffee here. Anytime you've got all these assassinations going on, that indicates corruption and decay in the nation. The fact that he's killed in front of the people, it's just making it worse. This is we're working towards anarchy and chaos of every kind. Then sham comes and he begins to reign . He reigns. One month, Minah ham shows up and kills him. This is a difficult terrible time. Verse 16, the city does not open their gates, which means they rejected him. And as a result, Minna ham sax , TIFF Sha and and does terrible, terrible things. Verse 16, especially to women who were with child. What an awful, awful scene we're seeing here. And in fact, as we read more about Minam tomorrow, we're gonna see that he actually kind of ends up being a puppet king under the Assyrian thumb. He is a ruthless leader and he is going to force his people to do what he wants or they will suffer terribly. But what an absolutely evil, evil man. What a difficult place to read in the the Bible. More of that tomorrow will pick up the account of men . Ham in Second Kings 15 on Friday. It is Friday, you made it through the week. How about that? It's Second Kings 15, 17 to 22 that we'll read to finish our Bible reading for the week. This is the rain of Minne ham . He did evil. Verse 18 in the sight of the Lord. Look again, the sins of Jibal , the son of Nebat are still there. Verse 18, jibal , the son of Nebat sows try saying that three times real fast sows the seeds of idolatry and they just keep bearing bitter fruit . The Israelites never can seem to get rid of that. It just keeps cropping up and cropping up. And here's Menahan part of that. He ends up verse 19, paying TLA Policer. Tla Policer is TLA P Policer. The third is the one who reorganized the Syria and got them going again to become a world power. He did some things in the army. He independent, he ended the independent kingdoms replacing them with a province system. And he does use mass deportations to demoralize conquered peoples and bring peace to his empire. Instead of a bunch of rebellions going on all the time, he shifts people around and that breaks their spirit. Get ready for that. And verse 19, he may, Minam is here, may be buying a Syrian military aid because he was attacked by a third party, or it may just mean that he gave a chunk of money to asy to go away. And as a result of that, he becomes a vasal king. He, he becomes a puppet king, if you will, to tig laugh pleaser. Verse 19 talks about a thousand talents. And a talent can be as much as 75 pounds depending upon which scholar you're reading. So this would be an enormous sum of money, but it takes the, the King of a Syria takes the money and does not stay there in the land. But he probably has installed Mene ham as his underling who will have to do his bidding. And the slide into a Syrian captivity is full on . Now, that's Second Kings 15, 17 to 22. And that's our reading for today. And not only is that our reading for today, that finishes the week I am home. The meeting in Rogers was a Sunday to Wednesday meeting. So I'm home and I'm certainly looking forward to being in the place I want to preach the very most at the West Side Church of Christ. I'll be there Sunday and I just can't wait to see you , tell you about the meeting and worship with you here at Westside. It's gonna be a wonderful, wonderful Sunday. I can hardly wait. See ya on Sunday. Thanks for reading the Bible with me this week. And if you have enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe, follow rate or give a review on iTunes or whatever app you're listening on. Mostly. We hope you'll just keep listening and you'll tell others about the show as well. Again, looking forward to being with you on Sunday. But until Monday, until next week, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the West Side Church of Christ Podcast. Monday morning Coffee with Mark . Borrow more information about West Side . You can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.io. That's upbeat with two ps u ppp , B E A t , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others and we'll look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee. Of course, on next Monday.