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Showing posts from October, 2011

Simply obedient

And Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s word. (Now Nineveh was indeed an enormous city, a three days’ walk across.) Jonah 3:3

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord. He did what God said to do this time. He got up and went. God specifically told him do do something and he did it. It's the same thing that God told him to do before, that he did not do, which he got in so much trouble for not doing. God gave Jonah a second chance and he is taking that chance now.

Jonah exercised his faith. Faith is an action. You say you have faith. Good, now show me. That's action. Faith is not just a belief, but belief acted upon. If you act upon it, it's real faith. When you act on faith, you also risk. John Wimber said that faith is spelled r-i-s-k. Jesus asked various people to do something often and complimented others who did something to express their faith like the guys who lowered the man through the roof to get to him (Mark 2:4). Remember when Jesu…

Get up and go (again)

Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and declare against it the proclamation that I am commanding you.”
-Jonah 3:2 (CEB)
The Lord's second word to Jonah was almost identical to the first word he gave him. The first time, the Lord said, "Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention.” God had patiently taken Jonah through the "hard way" and now again offered him the "not as hard way".

Jonah might have thought to himself, "remember what happened last time when I didn't go to Nineveh?" Obviously, Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh the first time, for some reason. We don't know what that reason was at this point. We do know that there was an evil in Nineveh that had come to God's attention. Something bad was going on with the Ninevites and Jonah previously had a strong aversion to them. Was it fear, prejudice, dislike, anger, or all of these?

Notice that both times, …

God of the second chance

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time. Jonah 3:1

Did you know that God is God of the second chance? The Bible is filled with the stories of people who got second chances and Jonah is just one of them. Jonah deliberately disobeyed God's assignment and some negative consequences followed.

Jonah repented and sought God. Then providence struck. Jonah was expelled out of the giant fish and found himself on dry land, breathing fresh air again. Then Jonah's life went on.

We can imagine that Jonah went on with his life. We can imagine that Jonah returned home. Perhaps he told his friends what happened. He had a testimony. God had saved him from death. Was he ashamed of himself? He had been one who spoke God's special messages and he had failed to do his unique job. He had failed to deliver a special message from God to Nineveh.

Life went on for Jonah. Did he feel like a failure? Was he thankful to be alive, but became the "former Prophet"?…

Back from the dead

And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. Jonah 2:10

Jonah had been saved from drowning and for that he was thankful. But, "what was next?", he might have thought. He didn't know, but he thought about God. He prayed to God, thanking him and worshiping him from that place of a living death. Jonah repented.

There is a time to get right with God and that time is always now. But to shake us awake, God provides awakening experiences for us that are rude and uninvited. If you are walking close to God and something bad happens in your life, you might cling to God and receive comfort from him. But, if you are distant from God, the pain is pointing you back to God. To be in need of God is good and normal. The crisis brings us into needing God and into coming home to the Father.

Jonah came to the end of himself and sought God. Jonah died to himself. Jonah's plans died. All he had left was God and to God he prayed to God he gave himsel…