April 24, 2010
(a quick review of the last two weeks on Sunday morning)
In his day (800-750BC) Assyria was the superpower....and awful in their fierceness. Artifacts remain of their terror and military might. (Nahum 3:1-4) Makers of lamps with human skin. Fierce.
So when God said he wanted Jonah to go there and minister "against" it, it was not very good news to the prophet. (In the teaching I shared my top ten reasons why Jonah did not want to comply. Can you think of some?)
So....he decided to take a prolonged vacation in sunny Tarshish on the west coast of Spain. Check it out - some 2200 miles in the wrong direction. (How do you define resistance to God's voice?! Wow!!))
The next part of the story tells what God did to press his will (and unfailing love and compassion) for the Assyrians. He sent a wind, brought mini revival to the sailors of the ship that Jonah was aboard, and then dispatched Namu to have "lunch" on a man thrown into the water...Jonah, that is.
This is a pretty free rendition of the text so I encourage you to read it freshly - Jonah 1:1-17.
From a few fathoms down, Jonah has a revival and prays earnestly. Namu develops a very sever case of indigestion and Jonah ends up on a beach - not the Tarshish kind -but the right one to get him back on track and on with God's plan.
(We are having a bit of fun with the story, but I do believe that it is entirely true. *Jesus quoted it several times.
*The "impossible" moments of it fade when the "God" references are considered.
*It has been considered to be historically reliable by both ancient Jews and Christians.
*And Jonah was an actual historical figure with other points of ancient reference. His prophetic ministry spanned right at 50 years.
Main point from chapter one - say "yes" to God. Do what he is calling you to do and live your life not running and avoiding and drafting more acceptable plans, but being strategic.
Illustrations: 1. David Wilkerson and Teen Challenge, now 50 years old.
2. Once Upon a Town:by Bob Green - sandwiches to soldiers changes the world.
:1-10 - God's New Boat Ride and Jonah's New Prayer - lots of insights here
:1-2 - God Just Keeps Coming and Coming
:3-4 - Jonah Gets It Right
:5-9 - Nineveh Gets It Right
:10 - God always does what is Consistent with this Character
See also a. II Peter 3:9
b. John 3:16-17
c. Matthew 18:12-14
May we do what God is calling us to do...and tell stories about our "yeses" and the immense wonder of His love and mercy.
Jackie and I leave for some days at District Council and then ministry in Cortez and I will be back on the Blog when we return.
God bless you!