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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB December 14

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at
  • 2009 Dec 16
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Today's One Year Bible Reading


I learned two interesting details in my study of Jonah. "Jonah" means "dove." And Ninevah means "city of fish." Some people think Ninevah may have been so named after "Nina," the Babylonian fish goddess. Based on the fact that Jonah is compared to Christ (being in the belly of the fish-earth for 3 days) and all the other fascinating details (city of fish ALL saved by Jonah's testimony), I think this book must have some profound symbolism, but I didn't find anything that was really clicking.

1:17 And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. This is what Jesus called "The sign of Jonah," and was prophetic of Jesus being in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. Our modern teaching is that Jesus was buried Friday afternoon and arose Sunday morning. That would be parts of 2 days (Jewish day sunset to sunset), and only two nights.

2:6 (NAS) "I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. This is one of the verses that shows clearly that "olam" in the Hebrew (the Greek counterpart of aion) cannot mean forever. In the Companion Bible, Dr. Bullinger says this about olam: "This word is derived from alam (to hide), and means the hidden time or age, like aion. . ."

4:1-3 This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: "Didn't I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I'd rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen." I cannot help but marvel at 2 things. That Jonah would have so much pride that he would rather a whole city die than experience God's mercy is incorrigible. Observation 2, Jonah is a representation of some ministry leaders. They would rather their traditions and the false beliefs of God's character be true, than to see God's declared merciful plan to save every last person in "Nineveh" succeed. This is their pride.


5:9-10 (NAS) "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." Since this is speaking of priests, it appears that Jesus purchased a firstfruits of overcomers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. In the past, I thought this was referring to all believers, but it's not. It's a special group set aside from each nation to rule and reign. This is all enlightening!

5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." Every created thing seems to cover it all, worshipping God together!