Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: Help! My name is Jonah.
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One of the most important aspects of our Christian walk, is that we continually place ourselves in a position to grow in Christ. Exposed and in obedience to God's Word. The manufacturers handbook of life.
I want to share a story. This story is true, and very challenging. This story is about a man given a job to do by God, but because he didn't agree with God's methods, he ran away from the responsibility of carrying it out the way God desired him to. However, he found out it was not easy to run away from God's destiny for his life. (Have you like myself found that it is impossible to run away from God, and the purposes destined for us) This fellow we are talking about learnt the lesson the hard way, like many of us so often do. Obedience from the start would have made it easier on everyone involved.
Let's look at the book of Jonah.
A quick Bible study. (You read your Bible, I'll read mine)
Ch 1:1-2 God speaking to Jonah giving him a job to do, with explicit directions.
v3 Jonah running from God's directions. Why?
v4-15 Talks about Jonah's storms of life and the devastation he brings not only on himself but others also. His disobedience had far reaching consequences. Jonah admits his disobedience and suffered the consequences of his rash actions.
v17 Shows God is still a God of mercy and will prepare a way of salvation. (God is a forward looking God. He knows the beginning from the end)
Ch 2:1-10 Jonah's cry out to God in repentance and God's deliverance.
Ch 3:1-2 Back to square one. God again gives Jonah the message to go to Ninevah and complete the job required.
v3-10 Jonah completes the job required and the people of Ninevah believe, praying in earnest that God would change His mind. God relents and Jonah does not like it. (They deserved to die, after all Jonah had preached that they would. Jonah was embarrassed. He was only interested in self).
Ch4 Goes on to show Jonah's anger at God, and God showing Jonah why He relented to destroy the city.
Sometimes when we hear God's voice speaking to us, so often we can be reluctant to obey, reasoning at times that we know better than our God who is all powerful, all knowing and ever present. Such folly. We must understand that God knows our future better, much better than we think we do!
Let us never forget that God speaks to us for a reason. Jonah had a stubborn attitude, maybe even pride. In the end when Jonah would not see why God should save 120,000 people, God had to show him through a simple plant. The plant was more important and valuable to Jonah than 120,000 people. Jonah was concerned more with self, how he felt. This book of Jonah shows human infirmities and God's great mercy. Jonah desired to see justice, human justice, not Godly justice, compassion and mercy.
We can learn a great deal from the story of Jonah. OBEDIENCE, TRUST and FAITH are probably the most important. Let's do it the Lord's way. It's much better, and easier to live with.
Jonah thought he knew it all. Our next thoughts look at a man who knew he didn't.
Scripture Thoughts to reflect on:
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