My internet went out at 4:00 yesterday afternoon. I took a quick nap, did some other things, and after an hour or so saw it was still out. I turned the modem on and off, still no internet. I called my company and they said it was a widespread outage due to node failure. No word on when it was coming back.
It’s certainly disconcerting to be disconnected. All my lectures, sermons, entertainment, notes in the cloud etc. require online connection. I have no TV or stereo. Absolutely everything I do is online.
I have some downloaded lectures on my laptop from Todd Friel, in a series called Drive By Discernment. I bought them about ten years ago and went through them all at that time, about 70 lectures, delivered by various men. It’s one of the only and in my opinion, best, series on actually teaching what discernment IS and how to practice it. 70 lectures sounds like a lot but it isn’t. Drive By is the series, and it’s so named because the lectures are 7-11 minutes each. It’s to be listened to, you guessed it, as you drive to work or wherever. So they made the lectures fairly short so people can grab a listen on the go.
Two of the men on the series have since fallen. RW Glenn and Art Azurdia. It is so sad to see the progression of sin and the devastation of what it does to a man and his ministry. Here are a few of the quotes and thoughts from lesson #1 of Drive By Discernment, Todd Friel, speaker:
False teachers hate Jesus. They hate the Bible.
They carry a Bible around on the stage. They put it up on the big screens behind the podium. They claim to love Jesus, but the Jesus they love is the Jesus of their imagination, or the Jesus that makes their bank account better. It is the Jesus that gives them power. It is the Jesus that allows them to live a licentious life- which are all the markings of false teachers.
Believe it or not, there are some positives of false teaching-
1. Heresy clarifies orthodoxy.
2. Heresy sharpens believers in being able to give a reason for the hope that lies within us.
3. It increases the suffering of false teachers. This one is harder to swallow, but given God’s hatred of sin and His vengeance against those who draw His beloved people away from Him, it makes sense.
There are 3 reasons to practice discernment
1. Love of truth
2. Love of people
3. Love of God
Thomas Brooks said, “False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers!”
I recommend Drive By Discernment. You can listen to the first three sessions for free here on Sermon Audio.
During the offline time I did spend time of course in my Bible and in prayer. I started the Book of Nahum. I finished the book of Nahum. It’s only 3 chapters, lol. I love the Old Testament prophets, Major or Minor. Yesterday I’d heard a sermon from the wonderful series from Grace Community Church, Sundays In July, about the Major Point of the Minor Prophets. For my Bible reading, I decided to spend some time renewing my acquaintance with some of the OT Minor prophets again.
I say again, because I’ve read them all. I read through the OT when I was first saved and I focused a lot of my time on the OT prophets. I love the OT Prophets. I can’t say that enough.
There was a new book on sale that I’d bought back along, a Nahum commentary called Severe Compassion, The Gospel According to Nahum, by Gregory D. Cook. The commentary is so easy to read, insightful and biblical. I also have all of Roy Gingrich’s OT Prophet outlines.
Roy Gingrich contributed uniquely to the faith by making outlines of most of the books of the Bible. Instead of lengthy prose treatment explaining all the aspects of the verses, his outlines succinctly state the main point of each verse in one or two sentences. In his introduction to the book of Nahum, Gingrich wrote:
The book has great value because of its teachings concerning God’s righteousness. It teaches that God ultimately destroys the wicked and delivers the righteous. It teaches that God is severe to His enemies and good to His friends. It is majestic in its moral descriptions of God—No other Bible book excels Nahum in this respect. Gingrich, R. E. (2003). The Books of Micah and Nahum (p. 28). Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing.
As I read through Nahum, I was so moved by the poetry, the images, the contrast of man who thinks he is mighty and the true Mighty One. The OT Major and Minor prophets are majestic pieces of work. Nahum is particularly known for its poetic imagery.
If you are new to the faith, Minor Prophets are called that not because they are of less value, for all scripture is good for correction, edification, and reproof. But they are simply shorter books. Nahum, as I mentioned, is just 3 chapters.
We’re familiar with Jonah, mainly because of the strange tale of the runaway prophet who was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah was sent to Nineveh, the capitol city of Assyria, to preach that God was going to destroy the city. The Ninevites heard the message and repented.
They remained in God’s good graces for a few generations, but after 100 years passed, the Ninevites were back in the same boat. They were committing atrocities, they were boastful, they were spiritual adulterers. God determined that the time had come. He sent Nahum to preach to Judah that their oppression and harassment by this nation was about to be over, and gave Nahum an oracle to deliver. That message comprised the book of Nahum.
Nahum is a straightforward book, offering no interpretive challenges. Its history doesn’t bear a lot of digging into because it’s not complicated. Assyria & Nineveh, your time for destruction has come. That’s it.
Nahum is one of the most beautiful of the prophetical works, being the most vivid in imagery and poetry. Give Nahum a try. Better yet, read Jonah, then Nahum. I think you will learn a lot about God.