Sunday, April 20, 2014



Need I say more?

This will be the last post in this blog for this year.  If you want to keep following Sharkbait go to for Sharkbait's Reef.  It's not as serious as this site, but there are some good comments there. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Malachi prophesied in about 450BC, and had some harsh words about empty rituals. He also spent a lot of time passing on GOD's promise of messiah. "But unto you that fear my name, a Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in his wings."

After the prophecies here, GOD was silent until the arrival of John the Baptist.

The book of Malachi is a reminder that God always had a perfect rescue plan for us, and that it was effected by Jesus here on earth.

You have lost your way.
Your faith you weaken in vain,
I will send my light.
Are you ready for tomorrow?
You know what is coming...

Friday, April 18, 2014


We spoke yesterday about Haggai telling the people to rebuild the temple, while Zecheriah goes further and says they need to rebuild in preparation for the coming of their messiah, but that some will make their hearts as stone and close their ears.

Turn to me I say.
You have made your heart as stone,
All will soon be gone. 
Zechariah also made a number of predictions about the coming of Jesus, and the end times.
And we know that all the prophecies about the coming messiah came true...
So we can have faith in the rest of his prophecies.

God tells the people to turn to Him, so that he can turn to them.
As they prepared their temple for his coming, so we need to keep preparing our hearts.
Today we remember the crucifixion...
But Sunday is coming.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


There came a time in history, when the people were allowed to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon. At this time, two prophets both encouraged the people to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed in the conquest.

Haggai points out to the people that they should be more concerned with building the temple, before their own comfort.

Look first to my house.
From this day I will bless you.
Show your strength and work

God's priorities need to be our priorities.
What God values, we need to value.
If we put God first in all things, then he will bless us in the rest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


If Habbakuk was one of the least known prophets, then Zepheniah on the other hand is one of the least mysterious of the prophets.

He wrote his prophecy in about 630BC, and he is even identified as being the grandson of King Hezekiah. He also prophesied that "The day of the Lord is near." Quite a strong warning to the people about their behaviour. But he also reminds us that the faithful have nothing to fear from this. "The Lord your GOD in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy."

Rejoice, we are saved.
God’s might in our midst.
We need know no fear
God never surprises us with judgment.  He gives his people fair warning, and thus the day of Judgment should hold no fear for us.
God will judge, but we are saved.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Habakkuk is one of the most mysterious prophets of the Old Testament; we know little about him.
He argued with GOD when he found out that GOD was planning to use the Chaldeans to punish His people. He said that the Chaldeans are even more disobedient that the people of Judah, but GOD reminds him that He has a plan, and it is not our place to understand it.

A reminder that GOD know what he is doing, and will redeem his people eventually.

Trust God, and his plan.
The just shall live by his faith.
Just you wait and see.
Sometimes the world seems out of control, but God is always in control.
Do we ever feel like we have a 'better' idea than God?
Do we have faith that even if ours sounds better, He knows what he is doing?
Do we really?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Over the last few days, we looked at the role of Assyria in the history of GOD's people.
They were warned and saved through Jonah.
They destroyed Israel and Judah in Micah.

But after being warned and saved once, powerful Ninevah has fallen back again.

It has become a 'city of blood' and GOD's hand will not be stayed a second time.
Nahum brings a prophecy of destruction against them, which brings to an end our Assyrian tale.

A city of blood.
My anger is slow, but sure.
No escape this time.
GOD might be slow to anger, and swift to forgive....
..but he does not let us get away with sinning forever without consequence. 
The most powerful nation in the world falls, because it fails to turn back to GOD when he warns it.

Grace is not a license to sin.  We still need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but with the confidence that comes from knowing our redeemer lives.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, which takes us to Good Friday, and ultimately Resurrection Sunday.

The people of Jerusalem got ready for the coming of Christ.

Christ got ready for his entry, and what would follow.

And the city got ready for events that would change history forever.

Are we ready?

Saturday, April 12, 2014


After years of warning, Israel and Judah start falling into bad habits of worshiping false gods and cheating the poor. 
So GOD sends Micah to warn them that GOD expects greater things from them. 
The book of Micah is written like a legal argument, with Micah putting forward God's case to his people.  They are asked why they have forsaken what God asks of them, and are reminded that what He asks is simple... "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

They are warned that they will be judged, and GOD does this by sending the Babylonians and Assyrians to destroy them.  (Do you remember the Assyrians?  God had a plan for them it seems.)

Do good, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God.
Or you will be judged.
What God asks of us is not so hard, but we struggle so much with it.
Be just today.
Be merciful (and loving) today.
Be humble today.
Walk with God.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Assyria was a violent and Godless nation.

And for some reason GOD took it into His head to try and save them.

More particularly He sent one of His prophets to preach to their capital city. You may have heard of it - Ninevah.

Jonah was called by GOD to go to Ninevah, and he refused; not because he was afraid, but because he didn't want them to be saved.

Eventually Jonah goes, and preaches to them, and they repent and are saved. Of course Jonah sulks, because he wanted GOD to destroy them, not save them.

A cry of warning.
Salvation reaches to all.
Who are we to judge? 
God loves everyone, and wants everyone to be saved.  Not just the people we like.
He wants us to spread the word, even to those who are hostile.
God loved Ninevah (and us) enough to reach out to them (and us)... too should we.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Do you remember Jacob, son of Isaac? 
A dodgy character of note, but GOD chose to use him anyway, and renamed him Israel.
Well, he had a brother, as you may recall. His brother Esau, was also renamed. He was called Edom. 
Isaac prophesied that Edom's descendants (Edomites) would always be at war with Israel's (Israelites) which in fact happened for hundreds of years.
After Edom took part in the ransacking of Jerusalem in the Babylonian invasion, GOD sent Obadiah to pass judgment on them...

Curse not God’s chosen!
For the Lord will cut you off.
An end for Edom?
God promised in Genesis to bless those that bless His people, and curse those who curse them.
And He is faithful, even after all this time.
Never forget, that God keeps His promises.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


"Prepare to meet thy God, Oh Israel!"

Sounds like something we would hear Clint Eastwood say if he was starring in The Ten Commandments doesn't it?

In actual fact this was a warning given by lowly shepherd Amos in about 760BC.

Amos sees visions of GOD's displeasure at Israel for falling back into idol-worship again. As always with Biblical prophets, he is given a message of hope; and a warning.

Seek justice for all,
Like a never-ending stream;
and you shall meet God

Amos warned the people about the importance of justice, and treating each other well.
God seems to measure our spiritual condition by how well we pass on the love and mercy we have received.
What have we done today for someone else?  
Lent is more than a time for self-reflection, it is also a time to consider who we treat others.
Did you fast today?  What did you do with the money you save?  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Joel was prophesying on some tough times, comparing God's judgment of His people to a plague of locusts. He talks about the coming of a "dark and terrible day of the LORD."

However, as with all the Old Testament prophets, he also talks about repentance.

Some of the lines from Joel will be familiar to us. "Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved" (Joel 2:32) and of course "I will pour out my Spirit on all men...." (Joel 2:28) is quoted by Peter at Pentecost to explain the workings of the Holy Spirit. (See, he wasn't just making it up as he went along.)

Vale of Decision.
Call on his name and be saved.
His Spirit will flow.

Even though God judges, he always provides a way out.
The first step is making a decision, and callling out to Him.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Poor Hosea. He was a good man, in a wicked world, and he faithfully followed GOD's instructions to him. Unfortunately for him, those instructions included telling him to marry an unfaithful wife. He uses this as a picture of his marriage to an unfaithful Bride, Israel.

The book is full of warnings about the consequences of their faithfulness "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" - Hosea 8:7.

It also includes some wonderful pictures of redemption if they would return, including "I will heal their backsliding.... I will love them freely"

Harsh is my judgement.
Oh return to my healing.
Free will be my love.
 God is faithful, even when we are not.
And he is always ready to forgive!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


This is a really big, and heavy, book.  Together with Revelation, this is one of two books of apocalyptic literature in the Bible, focusing on the future, and the end times.

I once spent 12 weeks doing a course on the book of Daniel, and I think we only began to scrape the surface.  

But in addition to Daniel's visions of giant statues and fearsome beasts, the book also gives us some awesome real-life stories of faithfulness.  Two of the best know stories revolve around Daniel being thrown into the Lion's den, and his three friends being thrown into a giant furnace.

The common theme was that even though God saved them, they did not know he was going to... and they were prepared to lose their live rather than deny their faith in God, or do something that went against their beliefs.  Daniel refused to stop praying to God, and the three friends refused to bow down and worship an idol; even though in both cases this was a death sentence.

Steadfast and constant.
Through fire and beast they stand -
And God stands with them.

Daniel prayed three times a day, even though it would cost him his life.
The three friends chose to follow God's laws when they conflicted with the law of the land.
Being faithful in prayer, and following God's law, will (probably) cost us a lot less, but do we do it as faithfully as these Old Testament heroes?

Friday, April 4, 2014


Ezekiel was a priest and prophet to the Jewish nation in exile in Babylon. He reminded the people that it was their sin that had brought them to this place, but that GOD was still wanting to restore and rebuild the nation.

In Ezekiel 18:32, we are told that " For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!"

He also emphasizes personal responsibility for sin, and righteousness. 
'For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. "Suppose there is a righteous man, who does what is just and right.
 He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws... That man is righteous; he will surely live",
declares the Sovereign Lord.'
(Ezekiel 18:4-5,9)

Woe unto Israel.
You do not do what is right.
Turn yourself; and live.

God does not want us to sin.  God does not want to lose us.
He gives us every opportunity to turn back to Him, and He calls us to do it all the time.
Do we listen?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Today is sort of a continuation of yesterday's theme.  Jeremiah warned the people of Judah to turn from their ways, or their Kingdom would fall.

Their kingdom fell.

After the fall of Judah, Jeremiah chose to stay behind in the destroyed Kingdom, rather than live in luxury in the land of their captors. The book of Lamentations is often attributed to him, wherein the writer laments their fall, but reminds them that God still offers hope.

How lost is Judah,
but great is Thy faithfulness.
Restore us to you
As bad as things get.  As bad as we feel.  God's plan is never to let us go.
No matter how messed up we think our lives are, he can always restore us.
He is faithful in a way we can never hope to understand.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


If I love the book of Isaiah, then I think I love the person of Jeremiah. He is one of my favourite prophets in the Bible, and one I can really relate to. For those of you who don't know, Jeremiah was given the un-enviable job of prophesying to the Kingdom of Judah that they must turn from their sin or they will be destroyed.

We don't know exactly how old Jeremiah was, but it was probably early twenties, or younger. At such a young age, GOD sends him to tell an entire nation it is under Divine Judgement.


I often found comfort in his words as a young(er) man, when I felt like crying "I am too young for this God." Despite his pleas of "I am too young", God reminds him that He chose him for this job before he was even born, and that he would give him the words. No wonder every utterance he makes is preceded by "The Lord said unto me..."

Truly a man in touch with God, and not afraid to be used.

I chose you for this -
Warn them to turn from their sin.
Thus sayeth the Lord.

Sometimes we feel unworthy, or useless.  Why would God want anything to do with us?
But God sees something in us.  He chose us, and wants to use us.
He wants us to listen, and do what he says.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I think Isaiah is one of my favourite books of the Old Testament. It is almost like a fifth Gospel. It contains so much of what we understand about Jesus, his life, the reason for his coming. 
Isaiah was preparing us for his coming long before John the Baptist was even born.
If you ever doubt God's love for you, and the lengths he will go to for you, then just read this book. 

Promise of Good News.
For to us a child shall be born,
coming from the Lord.
God had a plan for us all, and Jesus came to do more than just die...
He came to preach good news, heal our broken hearts and proclaim our freedom.
Over this lent period, let us never forget that the approaching events are Good News!

Because he was born, we will live forever.