Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mark 3:20-30 (daily bread of 25/10/17)

Key verse: 29
Salvation and condemnation depend on how people accept Jesus Christ. But there is an eternal condemnation which can't be revoked. 
1. The loved ones and the scribes persecute (18-22)
Many people gathered together around Jesus, so Jesus hadn't any time to eat. Among the crowd there were Jesus' parents. They were loved ones but they had the same perspective as the religious leaders about Jesus. They said that Jesus became crazy. The scribes denied that Jesus was the Messiah. But the most serious was that they thought that Jesus' work came from Satan. God's work was interpreted as Satan's work. God always works for the salvation of souls and wants to save as many souls as possible. But the scribes denied this work because of their jealousy and legalism, and it was an irremediable fault. It's the sin against the Holy Spirit, therefore it's unforgivable. 
2. Plunder the house of a strong man (4-6)
Jesus defended himself. If their reasoning that we can cast out devils by the strength of Satan is right, there is an illogicality. There will be division in the house, and the house will not remain. Then, God gave the parable of the house of a strong man. Here the strong man can be Satan. To plunder Satan's house, we must tie the chief Satan to pull his preys out of the house. To plunder the house we need a person stronger than Satan. There is only Jesus. The antagonism is necessary to save. The strong man can be Jesus. His house is God's kingdom. Satan isn't the strongest, therefore it is impossible to pull the souls from Jesus, because Jesus the strong man is the perfect protector. But Satan pulls the people out of Jesus' house because they are easy prey. At any rate, the collaboration between Jesus and Satan,as the leaders said, is a pipe dream. Jesus said that all the blasphemies can be forgiven but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can't be forgiven. The work of salvation of souls is the Holy Spirit's work.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mark 3:1-6 (daily bread of 23/10/17)

key verse: 5


Jesus heals a man who had his hand withered. Jesus heals our interior and exterior disability (Mt 8:17)

1. Come up here, to the front (1-3)

Among the crowd in the synagogue there was a man that everyone knew. It was a man who had his hand withered. Because of a disease or a an accident, his arm muscle of the arm was paralyzed, his hand became dry and all the activity of the hand was stopped. We don't know why this ill man was in the synagogue, maybe to panhandle or to be healed by a powerful word of a servant. But the assistants only looked at Jesus and the ill man without providing any remedy nor any word of consolation. They observed him to know if Jesus will heal of not. The people who don't engage with a cause participate in the meetings as observer. They don't have any power to convey to the decision not any obligation to follow the decision. Today people are used to taking this position. Jesus knew the problem of the ill man and he demanded that he stand up in the front. Jesus also knew why the people observed him. But he didn't care. He wanted to heal the fundamental problem of his man which was shame in his life.

2. Stretch forth your hand (4-6)

Jésus said to them: "is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm ?". Jesus had declared that he is the master of the Sabbath. Therefore he can use it as he thinks best. But first Jesus questions the people about right and wrong. God gave mankind a conscience to discern right and wrong. But, because of wickedness this conscience was paralysed. Because of the people's deceit Jesus was angry. He was saddened by the hardening of their heart which is a paralysis of the heart. Jesus defied the shy man so that he stretch his hand which means that he confessed his problem of inferiority. The man overcame his giant ego and he stretched his hand. Jesus saw his obedience, said a word and his hand became healthy. The religious leaders gnashed their teeth because he broke the law in public, so he publicy defied the religious authority.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mark 2 : 23-28 (Daily Bread of 22/10/2017)


Key verse 2 : 28

Today, Jesus speaks about the Sabbath. The Sabbath day is one in which we give God a service in Spirit and in truth. Our goal in doing this is to please Him. However, this meaning was readically changed by the religious leaders. 
1.     Jesus defends his disciples (23-26) 
The ever hungry disciples saw the ripe ears in the fields and they almost automatically went towards them. They ripped them off the stems, beat them together in their palms and eat that which they contained. The leaders heard this noise and started critising them for having worked on the Sabbath inspite of the prescribed prohibition. What did Jesus do ? Jesus protected his disciples against this accusation. A look at Israel's history shows that when David and his band fled from their enemies, they found a safe place of refuge in God's house. There, the priest Abiatar gave them the food that was normally conserved for the priests. Likewise, Jésus who was full of compassion and understanding for his disciples, especially because of the weaknesses in their bodies, defended them willingly.

2. Jesus est the Lord of the Sabbath day (27-28)    

Jesus was in a terrible impasse because of the religious leaders' critical remarks on his disciples. Jésus is God. It was he who created the Sabbath day. He is therefore the divine legislator who promulgates commandements. However, every law has a spirit. Jesus understand the spirit behind the Sabbath day. It was to allow man to come closer to God and to rest in His presence. Moreover, the goal of this day was to save mankind from his sins, he who constantly ran towards his doom. Keeping the Sabbath day with acknowledging the spirit behind it is like feeling around blindly in the darkness. God dislikes this kind of blind and carnal adoration. In order to give God a true service, we need to do it with His Spirit in us. Jesus made things clear for us believers by saying « the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath ». Jesus is God the Creator who created the Earth. The seventh day is the day in which He purifies us of our sins.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mc 2:18-22 (Daily bread of 20/10/2017)

key verse: 22
The parable of the spouses told by Jesus speaks about the joy of the faith life. Jesus gives to the leaders the parable of the fresh wineskins so that they are renewed and have joy.

1. Our spouse Jesus (18-20)
The very formal religious leaders were impressed by the rigorous life of fasting of John the Baptist and his disciples. There are the people who run above the people who walk, and there are the people who fly above the people who run. They seemed very devout but in reality they were carnal because they justified themselves by rites. But Jesus explains the meaning of fasting, it's an expression of sadness because of Jesus' death. Jesus says to the women to cry not because of him but because of them and their children. The consequence of sin for which Jesus died is grave. We must fast for our sins but thinking about Jesus' death. Now that Jesus is present, they must enjoy his presence. A little anachronistically, after much weeping for Jesus' death for our sins, we constantly have his presence in our lives. Therefore we don't need to fast, except when we are sad about our sins and we have an ardent subject of prayer. 

2. The unshrunk cloth and new skin (21-22)
When a dress is old and torn, we must put a piece of cloth on it, but if the cloth is new it tears from the old dress. So we must put an old cloth on it. The same should be applicable to the old wineskin; it needs old wine. If we pour new wine, it tears the wineskin. Therefore, when the Gospel comes, because it is powerful, with a different paradigm from tradition, it acts to tear the old things. We must contain it in new skin. We must put it on the new dress. The religious leaders were like the old dress and the old wineskin because of their traditions, so the powerful Gospel tore their life and made it lost, becoming for us a stumbling stone. Jesus' gospel is very new and powerful, its demolishes the old way of life and old thoughts. Therefore, before it comes, we must prepare ourselves with a renewal of heart. When the Gospel is properly accepted, it matures and gives a good taste for the others who also will drink of it. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mark 2 : 13-17 (Daily Bread of 19/10/2017)


Key verse 2 : 17

The Word this morning follows directly the one from yesterday. The reason that Jesus came was made manifest : it was for the forgiveness of the sins of those who come unto him by faith. In this particular lesson we can see another type of sinner who is desperate need of forgiveness.

1.    Jesus called Levy (13-17)

Matthew's former name was Levy. He was a taxe collector. Tax collectors were people who collected money from their own people in order to enrichen the colonisers. Their fellowmen therefore saw them as national criminels. Even though tax collectors were generally rich, their souls endured rather long periods of suffering. Levy was putting together the money that he was given ; money that he wrongfully gained. He was alone and suffering in his office as no one wanted to come near to him or to make friends with him. However, while passing by Jesus called out to him saying « follow me ». This meant « come learn from me and become my disciple ». Levy saw a of hope and relief from this call. Who could have put any hope in such a man ? Jesus did and Levy left everything behind to follow him.

2.    I came to call the sinners not the just (16-17)

The religious leaders tracked Jesus down and found out that he was going to have dinner with Levy and others in his social class. This class was based on their judgement of who was a sinner or not. Everyone invited, except Jesus, were tax collectors and prostitutes. However, Jesus ate with them happily. He explained his action by saying that his goal was to save humanity. He did not, however, impose himself on them. Rather, he leaves those who think that they need him, accept him into their hearts and houses. Jesus knocks at the door and waits, he who opens up and accepts will eat with him happily. The religious leaders did not accept Jesus because of their high position in the Jewish society. They thought that they were just. However, the sinners acknowledge their status and call on Jesus. He then enters into their lives becoming their Master and Lord. He forgives them their sins as it is for that. reason that he. came

Mark 1 : 40-45 (Daily Bread of 17/10/2017)


Key verse 1 :41

When we have a very strong spiritual desire, God allows us to reached His heart through our prayer. For this very reason, Jesus manifested his power in this passage to show His compassion towards this leper who had put all of his hope in him. 
1.If you want (40-41) 
In accordance with the Jewish tradition, a leper was someone cursed. He had to cover his mouth and constantly shout « impure, impure ». He was condamned to suffering from this feeling of culpability and of being cursed throughout his entire life. He had to live a fatalistic life of constant resignation because this was an incurable disease. He was banished from society. Even though he wanted to see his mother's face, he would come to the house and turn around a bit before returning to his exile. However, when this man heard about Jesus it was like the rising of a new day. He had heard about this called Jesus who healed many sick and this thus gave him a new hope of being healed himself. However, listening to Jesus is one thing, coming to him is another. This man came to Jesus and implored him to heal him because he had put his hope and faith in Jesus. Jesus healed him right away as this man's condition and faith deeply moved him.

2. He was healed from leprecy (42-45)

When the Word came out of Jesus' mouth it became powerful enough to heal this man. His skin became like that of a child's ; pure. His leprecy was this chased. Just like the illness and the evil spirits, the leprecy left this man. Jesus, however, knew that this man would disrupt his mission. Nevertheless, like this man's father would, Jesus took care of him up until the end. He told him to go do the official ceremony of purification in order to join  the society again. Jesus, the good Shepherd, not only takes care of our spiritual situations or but he takes care of all spheres of our life.

Marc 2:1-12 (daily bread of 19/10/17)

Key Verse 2:17
Marc speaks about the reason of Jesus' coming in his chapter 2. Equally, John revealed an other reason in his chapter 2, the wedding feast at Cana are revealing: Jesus came to bless mankind. Marc speaks about forgiveness of sins. The two reasons are linked. 

1. 4 friends of the paralytic (1-4)
4 friends of the paralytic came with their sick friend alongside Jesus. They are late, surely because of their sick friend. But they are men of faith. They weren't discouraged by the crowd, they climbed onto the roof of the house and made a hole to make their friend descend. They made an enormous roar among the people but they didn't look at the mood of the others and they didn't fear the rumours. They did what they thought good. We are very different from yus, we are easily discouraged by small barriers. But those men used a tactic of parachutist, like they made a breach in the camp of the enemy. A saying says: "where there is will, there is a way". When we have faith in God, our eyes open to see what way we must take, even in a situation where all seems dark with no possibilities. 

2. Your sins are forgiven (5-12)
Jesus saw their faith, surely the faith of the friends but alsol the faith of the paralytic, then he said: "your sins are forgiven". Here we find that there is a close relation between faith and forgiven of sins. To obtain forgiven of sins, we must defy the obstacles by faith. What are the obstacles ? There are many obstacles: wound, guilty, judgment in ourselves, and persecution, crowd, propriety, etc, outside us. Is we don't overcome those obstacles, we haven't access to the gift that God prepared by Jesus. The people judged him. But Jsus saw that the people was wrong about Jesus' power. He healed the paralytic to prove that he didn't lie but that he said truth. Jesus truly can save mankind from condemnation of sins. The religious people thought it was impossible because they said that only God can do it, but they thought that God is impersonal in the heaven. Therefore their sins can't be forgiven. But they didn't know that Jesus was here to forgive their sins. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mark 1:21-39 (daily bread of 16/10/17)

key verse: 25
Capernaum was Jesus' headquarters of his ministry in Galilee. As soon as Jesus was baptized he was faced with evil spirits. Indeed, most of the diseases are caused by the influence of evil spirits.
1. "What have we to do with you ?" (21-27)
Jesus entered the synagogue and taught God's word. His word was very powerful and its impact was considerable. Its authority was unbeatable. The crowd was used to the teaching of scribes who didn't bear Jesus' word which had the true authority. The leaders claimed the recognition of their authority supported by human institutions, but they were powerless. But Jesus' authority had an other source. It came from God himself. John the Baptist also had authority which came from his obedience to God. Jesus' authority was the same source: absolute obedience to God's will. Before the authority of God's word, the demon scrambled. The demon was the first to recongnize Jesus. But Jesus casted it out so that it leaved the man. Our absolute obedience to God's word give us authority over the demon.
2. Jesus had the custom of the morning prayer ? (28-39)
Then, Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law who was sick. When Jesus touched her the fever left her. The demon had seized this woman, but Jesus delivered her. Then, she became a very useful person. In the evening, all kinds of sick flocked around Jesus. So he healed and above all he cast out many demons. The people suffered so much under the domination of the devil. But Jesus delivered all of them. Jesus was very occupied in the evening, but he didn't miss his appointment with God, because it was his source of power. Sometimes, he spent the whole night praying, but his habit was rather the morning, the first hour was for God. At this time, he looked for God's direction for his day. God gave him the direction to move to the next village, contrary to the will of his friends who wanted to enjoy to renown of the world. God's will is to save the souls. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mark 1 :14-20 (Daily Bread of 14/10/17)


Key verse 1 :17

In today's lesson, Jesus calls his first four disciples on the Galilean seafront.

1. Spread the Gospel (14-15)

Jesus knew that John the Baptist was captured. John was a man of God. He categorically reprimanded Herod because he had taken his brother Philip's wife to be his own. John was not afraid of the King but he bravely fought against the sins that were common amongst his compatriots. In this situation it appeared as though God's was shaking and as though His justice took a serious blow. Those were some very dark days. However, Jesus did not become dispaired but rather he got up and spread the Gospel. The first message that he preached was that the time and the Kingdom of God were coming soon. This message meant that they were neither a far off nor futuristic. They were right there and then. How can one access them ? One needs to use the only two pathways that exist : repentance et faith.

2. The first four disciples followed Jesus (16-20)

Jesus called his first four disciples two by two. First he called Simon and Andre. They had a low social status. However, they were seeking the truth. Jesus therefore invited them to follow him. Follow Jesus means learning from him and becoming his disciple. Becoming one of Jesus' disciples entails looking for the truth, finding it and practising it. Jesus then gave them their mission. Their mission was to fish men out of the sea of sin. Up until now their joy or their sadness came from the number of fish that they caught. However, from now on their joy would come from saving the dying souls in the sea of sin. Jesus gave them the holy salvatory mission inspite of their youth and inexperience. He put a lot of hope in them. After their training period this vision will surely come to pass. These young people were so happy to get this call that they left behind their jobs and their families to consecrate their lifes to Jesus. These elements would have been dangereux to their spiritual growth and their future work.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mark 1 : 1- 8 (Daily Bread of 12/10/17)


Key verse 1 :1

Mark enters directly into the description of Jesus’ ministry unlike the authors of the other Gospels. Let's start studying the Gospel from now on. Mark was not one of Jesus’ disciples but he was Apostle Peter's secretary and so he learned the Gospel’s message through him. This is the shortest Gospel and Mark wrote it about 67 A.D. The Gospel according to Mark focuses on the relationship between God and man. Mark wrote this Book for the pagans and so he tried to cite the ancient prophecies as little as possible.

1.     Beginning of the Gospel (1-4)

The Gospel according to Mark focuses on Jesus' ministry and so it talks very little about his birth. Moreover, from the very first page of the Gospel according to Mark,  he proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God. This proclamation is very similar to that of John's but unlike John Mark does not make it a doctrine. Jesus is the Son of God about whom Isaiah prophetised. Isaiah also prophetised the coming of Jesus' predecessor : John the Baptist. John was very humble as he was considered as the voice crying out in the desert. This is as a result of his complete self-denial. John's birth was  marked by his the mission that God gave him. His mission was to prepare the way of the Lord. Opening up the way refers to the act of contrition. When we repent the pathway to God opens up in us and we accept Jesus entirely and as we ought to.

2.     John appeared and started baptising (5-8)

In accordance with Isaiah’s prophecy, John appeared. Luke presented him by referring to his priestly origins whereas Mark barely speaks about this and that's leads us into thinking that he has a divine origin like Melchisedek. John was sent by God in order to prepare the way of the Lord. He therefore baptised many people in the River Jourdan to help them repent of their sins. Many came to him and many believed that he was th Messiah. However, John was so humble. He lived a very simple and humble life as he even went on to say that he was unworthy to lick Jesus' shoes. A man of God is of great value before God when he is humble. When the people confessed their sins and came to be baptised ; God forgave them of their sins.

Marc 1:9-13 (daily bread of 13/10/17)

Key verse: 9


Today's story tells the two first works: Jesus's baptism and his temptation. The description of Marc is very short, but it has a great significance.
1. Jesus was baptized (9-11)
Baptism is defined as burying of the old nature and procurement of the new and holy nature (Rm 6:3). It's the result of repentance of a person. Jesus had any reason to be baptized by a man. But Jesus made it, because Jesus did'nt act according to his own desire but according to God the Father's will. God's will was to make God's work take turn from John the Baptist. Here we learn:
1) Our God is a God of history. All persons and things must be included in this history.
2) Many people act according their own way. Behind a mask of Christianity, in reality they act according to their own ideas and intelligence. But look at Jesus. Even if he was the Son, he renounced his self, he curved and lowered his head to be baptized. God the Father fully rejoiced and opened the heaven to send the Holy Spirit and make his voice listen to mankind, not because Jesus was the Son, but because of his obedience. These things was the inaugural ceremony of the ministry of Jesus. 
2. Jesus was tempted (5-8) 
The second inaugural ceremony of the ministry of Jesus was his passing to the desert and his tentation by Satan. According of the others gospels, Jesus was in the desert during 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus came on the earth with a precise goal: to destroy the enemy who in the past seduced all the earth. Therefore Jesus' coming was a divine ultimatum against the evil and tempter spirit. The fight is very hard so Jesus almost succumbed. But during each tentation of Satan about bread, abuse of God's name or vainglory of the world (Mt 4:1-11) Jesus pushed Satan by God's word. The wild beasts accompagnied him and the angels served him, so the fight was very bloody. This fight will be continue when Jesus will be killed, but the final victory is garanteed by his resurrection by which Satan's head will be crushed. 

Jonas 3 : 1-10 (Daily Bread of 10/10/17)


Jonas 3 : 1-10

Key verse 3 :2

God gave Jonas a second chance to accomplish his mission which entailed telling the inhabitants of Ninive to repent. By denying himself,  Jonas' message bore a lot of fruits.

1. Go there and spread the Word (1-6)

Ninive was the capital of the enemy's country. How can one love the inhabitants of Ninive ? However, that was the condition of God's heart towards them. After his repentance, Jonas was saved from the fish's stomach and he was convicted that God forgave him. Moved by God's grace, Jonas obeyed God's ordered and He took off joyfully. During one day Jonas preached the message of repentance. His message was very powerful. The result was remarkable because the inhabitants of Ninive, who were idolaters, abandonned their idols and started believing in God. It was not a simple matter of wanting to believe in Him but it was a national call for repentance. All of the citizens covered themselves with sackcloth as this act was symbolic for penitence. This information even reached the King who swapped his royal garments for sackcloth .

2. Who knows if God might… (7-10)

The King then made a decree calling for a national day of fasting. Therefore all of the inhabitants of Ninive and even the animals neither ate nor drank anything in order to express their profond penitence. All of creation suffers because of man's sins. That's the Apostle Paul's theology. The animals in Assyria were suffering as a result of their owners sins. They repented as well by covering themselves in sackcloth and by shouting towards God. However, only man is reponsible for changing his ways before God. Every man, animals not included as they are without sin, came back to God and turned away from his sinful ways. The decree is verse 9 seems a bit weird. However, it clearly shows at what point the Assyrians were desperate for God's help. « Who knows if God might… »This is the desperate cry of a hopeless man standing who is awaiting God's judgement.  God saw their sincere repentance and He changed his mind. He decided to no longer judge the city. Therefore, we see how God blesses the penitent heart and the fruits of repentance that it bears.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jonah 2:1-11 (daily bread of 9/10/17)

key verse: 2:10
Jonah was a nationalist. He cant' waive his desir to see his country prosper and see evil for his enemy. God loved him and gave him training.
1. Jonah's prayer (1-7)
Jonas was dumped from the boat by the sailors, because he was the cause of hurricane which could kill them all. When he was dumped, a great fish waited for him. He stayed in the stomach of the sea monster during 3 days and 3 nights. In the absolute darkness, Jonah kneeled and prayed to God. In his prayer he doesn't express his repentance but he praised God who has answered his prayer when he was in absolute agony in the sea bottom. "I cried to you and you have answered me". When someone desesperately cries, God listens to him, regardless of his past sin. The environment in the sea bottom was terrible, Jonah became a marine plant engulfed in algae. His monologue was that the Lord was driven far from him. But it was Jonah who had fled from the Lord's face. In this situation, Jonah had a holy desir of come back to see the face of God in his temple. He makes sure that his prayer was rised to God's throne in his temple.
2. I will sing my gratitude (8-11)
Jonah thought that he was on his last legs. All was engulfed and crushed in the stomach of the fish. It was the moment when life seemed to have left Jonah. But, in this moment, God intervenes and listens to Jonah's prayer in his temple. The temple is the place where mankind worships. The people worship false gods. They lost their chance to be saved. But those who truly worship God are blessed by God and enjoy the divine life. The assurance of salvation comes to them. Jonah swears that now he will offer true worship to God. True worship consists of having the gratitude of the heart which is expressed through our songs. Jonah vows a vow to God that he will give a sacrifice to him and that he will keep his promise. So, this very pleasant vow had an immediate effect. God listened to his very humble and very desperate prayer and God intervenes in his matter, and Jonah was vomitted by the fish on the mainland.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Abdias 1:1-21 (daily bread of 6/10/17)

Introduction :
We don't know about Obadiah's life. He surely belonged to Judas' tribe, because he concerns himself with the behaviour of Edom towards Jerusalem. The Edomites had benefited from the invasion of Judah and of taken Jerusalem by the enemy armies to turn against God's people, aggravate their misfortune and be enhanced with their corpses. For that, the prophet announces to them that they will be wraped in the general God's judgment towards all the Pagans, and Judah will be a tool of their punishment, when they will be restored in their possessions. While the nations will perish, Judah will become the centre of God's reign.
1. The insolence of Edom's heart (1-9)
Edom is a descendant of Esau, the brother of Jacob. He tooks possession of the mountain of Seir. Their geopolitical situation was invincible. Their rest, thaf is their emplacement, was considered like in the stars. Because of their wealth, their heart became arrogant, saying "who will make me run down up to the earth" (3b). But God says that he will punish him because of his arrogance. The arrogance is the beginning of destruction. God will send enemies to invade his country (1). The country will be deeply humiliated by their friends who will betray him. They will mock of him because he was had, they had misled him. In fact, God made of this very smart people a stupid people, taking off his wisdom. God is the formidable sovereign. God blesses who we wants, God curses who he wants.
2. On the mountain of Zion, there will be survivors (10-21)
Edom had a serious problem which was jealousy, when his brother Israel was invaded by the enemy and taken in captivity, he enjoys (12). They looked him ans looted his property. But God says that he will be judged ans deducted forever (10) because of his pride. The day of the Eternal God was coming (15). This day wasn't only for Edom, but for all the nations (15). All the nations will be judged for what they done. Everyone will be summoned to Christ's court to be judged about what he done good of bad in his body (2 Co 5:17). It's a condemnetion reserved to all the sinners of the world. Nevertheless, the final sort of God's people is luminous because God has reserved a special place for them. Israel will be safeguarded by God's mercy without suffering the common sort of perdition. Through the power of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, God decided to forgive them and saveguard the life of Christ's people. The territory lost by Edom and the other countries will be finally fully restored. Our God is the sovereign God who reigns on the world (21).

Jonas 1 : 1-16 (Daily Bread of 7/10/2017)


Key verse 1 :3

Introduction : Jonas worked during the time when Jeroboam II was King. Hosea and Amos were sent to predict the calamity that would fall on the idolatrous people inspite of their prosperity. Jonas, on the other hand, was sent to Ninive to preach God's Word. However, he was afraid to be used by God to save a people who were enemies to his own. During his flight, Jonas encountered a storm and was swallowed by a whale. He then realised his stupidity. The titles « Rise up and shout »(1) « Jonas prayed » « Rise up and shout. Make my Word known »(3) and « Jonas got upset » efficiently reveal the structure of this Book. The inhabitants of Ninive were saved by their faith in Jehovah God. This Book highlights the narrow-minded hearts of the Jews.  As Jesus said the only way to be saved is by repentance and obedience not by one’s works. It's a divine truth applicable to all time periods.

1.     Rise up and shout (1-3)

Jehovah God spoke to Jonas and He told him to go to Ninive in order to spread His Word. God had mercy on the Assyrians even though He will use them later on to punish the Israelites. However, Jonas fled as soon as he heard that his people’s foe was going to be saved. He did not want to obey God. In fact the real problem is that he did not understand God's heart which is aimed at saving all the peoples of the Earth. Jonas' heart was very narrow and so he took off in the opposite direction : Tarsis. He removed himself from God's presence. Following our own whims and fancies as opposed to obeying God separates us from God and prevents us from seeing His face.
2. A great storm brewed (4-16)
However Jehovah God used a natural disaster to manifest His presence. The ship that had taken Jonas was in danger. The seamen drew lots to determine the origin of this unfortunate sea event. The result fell on Jonas. He must of felt guilty at this point and that explains why he gave himself up so willingly as a sacrifice. In the meanwhile he was to talk about God whom he had disobeyed. The seamen were thus able to adopt the Hebrew English in spite of their fear. After praying they decided to throw Jonas overboard. According to the Word they gave God an offering and they made their vows before Him. A disobedient man was used to bring salvation to others !

Amos 9 : 1-15 (Daily Bread of 5/10/2017)


Key verse 9 :11

Amos had a last vision which concerne the Lord. In this vision Bethel, the temple in which the people adored the golden calf, will fall. Amos proclaimed that God will come after the people.

 1. No survivor will escape again (1-10)

Amos saw the Lord standing on the altar. He then ordered His angels to destroy the temple. The altar, which was supposed to geared towards adoring God, was soiled because the Israelites religious amalgation. Therefore, the day of judgement against this religion will be one of vengeance .God's anger began to spark when the sinners abused His patience by walking over His orders. God will them down to punish them. They will try to flee without finding any place of refuge. There where the dead lie, on the summit of mount Carmel, in the enemy’s country, God will follow them wherever they go in order to destroy them. There God said : I will have my eyes on them constantly and I will dream of their doom, not of their happiness (4b). The God of Israel is the Lord God who created the heavens and the Earth.  Heaven is his home and the Earth His footstool. When He touches the Earth, it crumbles. The once chosen people no longer had any privileges and were seen as Ethiopian pagans. Nevertheless, Amos tried to remind God of His grace by which He saved His people from Egypt. However, God decided to destroy them because of their sins. Nevertheless, He promised to not destroy them completely ; He will them up a bit but the Earth shall not be destroyed (9c). Only those who were sinning shall be destroyed, those who impeded Amos from prophetising.

2. God promises to restore Israel (11-15)

After this last vision, God gave Amos a new one wherein He will restore Israel. David's shaky hut is the only legitimate Kingdom that shall be restored. The other tribes shall be under their control. In any case, after have been deported the two brother tribes will be brought together. Therefore, God will rebuild Israel as it was in the past. He will then take possession of the neighbouring tribes. The day of fertility and of abundance will come back to the country. God will then bring back His people from their captivity in order for them to live in the devastated country. His people will no longer be uprooted from the promised land, the heritage that God promised them.

Amos 7 : 1-17 (Daily Bread of 3/10/2017)


Key verse 7 : 15 

In the third part of this Book we get to see Amos' visions. They came from God. Amos was persecuted until hewas finally chased by the religious people. In the meanwhile Amos' faith was revealed .

1.     Amos' shepherd heart. (1-9) 
Amos' first vision was about the devastating locusts. God gave him this vision during the time of the recovery. The first shoot belonged to the King while the rest was given to the owners. Therefore, this catastrophe threatened everyone. After speaking on God's behalf, Amos made a request before God on the people’s behalf. Amos did not protest against the justice behind God's judgement but rather he called upon His compassion. His goal was to soften God's heart towards the people’s weakness. However, one second after this a greater threat made its appareance. The fire consumed all of the sea water (the abyss) and the fields. However, one again the prophet's intercessory prayers encouraged God to turn His judgement away. The third vision concerns the plumb line (the spirit level).  Nowadays, masons use this triangular shaped instrument .The plumb line is suspended from this triangular top. The level is used for construction but the spirit level is used to entirely destroy the Earth. Here Amos speaks about King Jeroboam for the for the first time. His action comes without warning and it provokes the violent scene that followed. Amos could no longer intercede for them. The moral here is that even though one can stop God’s judgement through intercession, this only last for awhile before God punishes the unrepenting hearts.

2.I have no alternative (10-17)

The great prophetess Amastia denounced Amos and what he said. She called him a visionary and ordered him to return to his home country. However, Amos was a man sent by God and thus he could do nothing more but accomplish the mission that He gave him. Moreover, the time for punishing Juda had not yet arrived whereas the sins in Israel had to be quickly with. Amos had a shepherd’s heart towards his fraternal tribe. He knew that he came from humble beginnings but God's call in his life was as clear as crystal. Therefore Amos did not soften his tone but he answered Amatsia with her same cynical tone. He proclamed God's judgement on her family, a judgement that will be very tragic for them when they are abroad.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Amos 8:1-14 (daily bread of 04/10/17)

Key verse : 11,12


God gave to Amos a fourth vision of a basket of fruit. The social injustice in economy was great because of falsification. God swears that he will judge this nation. Amos predicts hunger and thirst.

1. The vision of a basket of fruit (1-3)
The fourth vision was à basket full of ripe fruit. So the time of God's judgment was ripe. At this time, the joyful song of the singers of the king will become complaints, because an earthquake will fall on them and will cause many deaths. The corruption of the people is revealed through their economic life. Their hearts are avide and they abandon morality in business. They trample on the poor and eliminate the weak. They falsify the measures, sell the waste and take the poor as slaves who can't pay off debt even for a mediocre value like sandals. They were cruel and inhumain, so God didn't prevent himself from raising his hand of punishment. God eliminates them out of the country. Their feast of profit will become mourning.

2. They will wander in the desert (10-17)A great hunger will be sent. The poor will always have thirst. God declares the famine in the country, including the wealthy. God heard the prayer of the prophet about punishment of grasshoppers and fire. Therefore, God economically safeguarded the country. But, when the judgment will come, the punishment for the quiet people will be very serious. God says that they will be hungry but not for bread, but for the Lord's word. They will wander here and there to seek God's word but in vain. They surely have the Torah, the book, the Bible. But this doesn't ensure they eat the word, because the servants of this time were blinded, so the people didn't receive any spiritual food. Therefore, their souls continued to dry up. The people swore to idols. But the idols were only mute work of their hands, who couldn't teach them.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Amos 6:1-14 (daily bread of 02/10/17)

Key verse: 6:8b


The opulence of the greatest is unimaginable. The word tells us the reason for that. God feels disgusted by this. We must be vigilant when we are blessed. 

1. Woe betide those who live quietly (1-7)

The nobles of Sion quietly lived. The greatest exploited the poor and they rolled up on luxurious sofas. Those who lived in this way in Jerusalem and in Samaria were invited into the homes of the nations's greatest people. The greatest of Israel always begrudged the neighbouring nations. But they weren't very prosperous. They were already blessed by God, but without thanking God they begrudges others. The greatest of the country quietly lived. They thought that the misfortune of others would not attain them. Their lifestyle was voluptuous (4), and they were skilled musicians. They liked fine food. 

2. God's predicted judgment (7-14)

Because of their sins God will take them into captivity. The fundamental reason of this carefree life was pride. They received a lot of blessing but they never give thanks to God who is the source of blessing (8). They will be offered to the enemies by God Almighty, because God loathes this. God always loathes the pride of mankind. Unimaginable calamities fall on them. All the houses they were proud of are ruined, the small and the big. The dead bodies are used as fuel. The unrighteousness of the country is very great (10 c) so its prevents the people from calling God for help. They often flout right. The people are accustomed to bragging saying that their power is because of their own strength (13). I'ts a banal phenomenon when the heart of a man is proud. They don't attribute the power to God, but they attribute it to themselves, either their physical strength or their exceptional intelligence, etc. But God will not tolerate pride, he will come to judge and punish. Humility is the way of salvation and blessing.