Tag Archives: Jonah

Jonah – in a nutshell

28 Feb

See if you can guess what I think the book of Jonah is all about by reading my cheeky overview:

Our story begins with a man of God, commissioned by God to take the love of God to a godless people. But this man of God tries to flee God because he’s afraid of what God might do among the godless. Yet, God pursues him, God brings a storm and some false god worshiping sailors come to worship the one true God. The man of God gets thrown into the sea and swallowed by an enormous fish sent from God.

The story continues…the man of God in the belly of the fish sent by God gives thanks to God for the salvation that has come and will come from God. God hears his song of praise and God says to the ginormous fish, “Spit out the man of God.”

Our man of God on dry land, via a boat, a storm, the sea and the belly of a big fish, heard the word of God a second time. God doesn’t change…”Go to the godless.”

This time our man of God obeys God and makes haste to a people without God. He preaches to them everything that God has commanded and guess what, they believe God. So they turn to God, away from their godlessness, and in repentance find mercy and compassion from God. Praise God!

Final scene, again the man of God and the one true God are alone. The man of God is angry at God, “God, I knew you were good. Too good to these previously godless now God fearing folk. You care for those I don’t and it makes me want to die.” Not good. So God tries to teach our man of God by providing shelter under a plant. The

man of God is happy. Then God takes the plant away. The man of God is angry.

“Why are you so concerned about a plant you didn’t make? I am G

od, shouldn’t I be concerned about all that I create, especially those who don’t know the truth, that I am God?”

End.

Jonah and the Whale

 

I Know God’s Will for my Life!!!

7 Feb

Sounds great doesn’t it!? To know God’s will for your life, what could be better? We all want to find direction; direction from the almighty is the ultimate. But I think the reality is probably less appealing than the concept.

Jonah and the Whale

Last week I started preaching Jonah in church. Straight from the off we get God giving Jonah His will for Jonah’s life. If I may paraphrase God says, “Jonah boy, I want you to be a prophet to Nineveh, teach them about me.” For a believer this should probably be an encouraging call, especially as Jonah was already used to life as a prophet to God’s own people in Israel. Yet God’s will for Jonah’s life contradicted Jonah’s own will for his life.

Instead of grasping this wonderful revelation with both hands he legs it, literally he tries to flee from God. God’s will is that Jonah would be a part of saving the city of Nineveh  Israel’s enemies. Jonah’s will for his life is that he’d build up, encourage and protect his own people, not those outside.

I imagine the same is true for you, it certainly is for me. The idea of knowing God’s will for our lives is very appealing, yet it’s likely that His will might call us somewhere we don’t want to go, to stand up for something we don’t want to stand up for, to pay a price we are unwilling to pay.

Our church’s verse for the year comes from Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And in a sense that is God’s will for all our lives, that we would be His witnesses. In the remainder of the book of Acts we see the great cost this comes at. Jail time, stonings, executions. Not a path we’d choose for ourselves.

Yet in that verse there’s a promise too, that God would equip, that God would go with us.

For Jonah, going to Nineveh, as unappealing as that sounded, was a call to go where God was going. Likewise our call, God’s will for all of our lives, is to go with Him. Sometimes it may be unappealing but ultimately it is as great as it sounds! To go with God, on His mission, what a privilege. To be part of Christ’s church as He Himself builds it. What a joy!

Jonah continued to struggle with the call and that’s okay. God’s mercy was far vaster than Jonah’s rebellion. And we may still struggle to go with God as He leads us to be witnesses to the lost, but the Grace we have in Jesus is so much more than that too.

We’ll go, in His strength not our own.