The title of this post may seem peculiar because we hardly think of Nineveh, a metropolitan city of Assyria, being full of faith. They worshipped foreign gods, did not believe in God, and were so wicked that their wickedness came up before God (Jon 1:2)! Even the king of Nineveh himself admitted that the people were evil and that violence was in their hands (Jon 3:8b). How could such a city, great as it was, have faith in God?
[Jonah] cried out and said, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ (Jon 3:4)
Perhaps there was more to God’s message. But all we see recorded is that Jonah basically proclaimed that Nineveh was doomed; that they were condemned already. If we were to hear such a message today, how would we respond? Continue reading
And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. (Rom 4:19)
I had never noticed before that the Bible called Abraham’s body already dead. And this is repeated in Hebrews 11:12 as well: from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude.
It is no wonder that Abraham himself doubted upon first hearing that he would have descendants. Scientifically and logically speaking, Abraham and Sarah could not have children. Continue reading
There once lived a Syrian commander named Naaman. Though he was a great and honourable man in the sight of his master, Naaman was a leper. If it was really bad, then Naaman would have suffered disfigurement and deformities. Whatever the stage, there was no such treatment for leprosy. Without the miracle that happened to Naaman, his life would only see the progressive damage that it would have had on his skin, nerves, limbs or even eyes. One might say, despite recognition as a commander, he did not have the perfect life.
One day, his wife said to him that a young girl from the land of Israel told her that he could seek help from a prophet in Samaria. His wife must have been so taken by the young girl’s conviction that Naaman would be healed that she communicated this hope to her husband. Naaman, so filled with hope for a change of his condition and life, must not have seen it ridiculous to approach his master the king of Syria with the idea brought to him by a young girl. The Syrian king without a doubt was moved by Naaman’s raised hopes and desire for healing and arranged a correspondence to be carried by Naaman to the king of Israel about the matter. Continue reading