Once again, I find myself in Jonah! When I am not studying for a particular purpose, I often find myself at a loss of where to start. Because Easter is approaching, I decided to read the Gospels and Acts. I landed in Luke and was drawn to Luke 1:1-4.
Luke 1:1-4 highlights his reason for writing the book and his method of doing so. That was a great study and I gained insight when I started a couple of weeks ago, but again today, as I met with God, I was at a loss of where to start.
I hear in my heart…. yep, you guessed it, JONAH!. What? Again? Then I was reminded of something Joyce Meyer said in one of her lessons and of something God said to me in my heart.
Joyce Meyer says if you do not know what God wants you to do now, go back to the last thing you remember him telling you to do. For me, that would be Jonah. His direction was clear, loud, and simple. I awoke one morning and the first thing that hit my brain before I lifted my head off the pillow was JONAH.
I spent a long time in Jonah and often asked God why He had me here and why I felt stuck. It is only four short chapters and contains 48 verses in the entire book! God’s reply was through a side study of “cross-reference”. During one of my Jonah studies, I was researching the Introduction of the NIV Study Bible (older version) and it said that cross-referencing is inexhaustible. I even tested it and it’s true, cross-referencing never ends! God said to me, “Don’t worry about where you are, I will take you where you need to go.” He can do that in any manner he chooses too. Cross-referencing, and mostly in my case ADD! I often get lost in the side notes.
WOW! God is FAITHFUL
To begin the study of Jonah all over again, I started with the introduction to the book of Jonah in the NIV Study Bible Fully Revised Edition 2020. As I was reading the introduction and going to the cross- references listed (I have learned not to skip these!), I wondered if the revised edition was in LOGOS so that I could just hover over the references and they would open in a pop-up (lazy or resourceful, you decide 😊 ). I took a moment to research the Logos online store and yes, the Bible Study Notes for the revised edition was available and it was on sale! Doing my Dave Ramsey due diligence, I researched my budget to see if I had the monies to pay for it. Yes! I budget for LOGOS purchases and money was available 😊
Whoop There it Is
I opened LOGOS on my laptop to same place that I was reading in my Bible. My mouse hovered over a section of the introduction about authorship. I did not hover intentionally over this section, but I read what popped up anyway. And boy was I blessed!
It tied right back to my study of Luke 1:1-4!
Luke 1:1-4 tells us why and how Luke wrote the material. He researched, he was organized, he was a servant of the Word who was familiar with the work of other servants of the Word and he journaled.
The introduction to 1 & 2 Kings, tells us the writer of this historical account also did his research. He was a servant of the Word; he did his research and he even named his sources. He was careful and he wrote down what he gathered.
I think when we read in Scripture that the Bible is the God-breathed, inspired Word, we think that God just downloaded the words to the writer. We think He will do that for us as well without any effort on our part. After seeing both examples, I realize that is not necessarily the case. The writers did their homework! God blessed them in their work and careful study. The Holy Spirit cannot bring to remembrance what was never remembered in the first place!
Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit does give us inspiration, but I also believe that God blesses us the most when we are in the Word. When we seek Him, we will find Him! Set a date, keep the date, meet with Him and He will show up!
(NIV Study Bible Fully Revised Edition 2020 -Popup)
Whoever the author was, it is clear that he was familiar with the book of Deuteronomy—as were many of Israel’s prophets. It is also clear that he used a variety of sources in compiling his history of the monarchy. Three such sources are named: “the book of the annals of Solomon” (11:41), “the book of the annals of the kings of Israel” (14:19) and “the book of the annals of the kings of Judah” (14:29). It is likely that other written sources were also employed…
Luke 1:1-4 (NIV)
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. 
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God p may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
1 Peter 1:21
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.