The Healer and the Pirate

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Bonus - Jonah and God's will

The last 4 weeks at Corona After Hours the sermon was on Jonah. Spoiler alert! As Bryan noted, it's very ironic that Jonah had prayed for God's mercy, and then was super-ticked that God had shown mercy to Nineveh.

God says:
Jonah 4:11 (NASB) "Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"

First off, pretty cool that God even cared about the animals in Nineveh.

Second, Jonah was likely proud because he was one of God's chosen people. But Bryan said (and I reckon he was right) that Jonah was also trusting in his own righteousness. Which is interesting considering that God literally spoke to Jonah right at the start of the book:

Jonah 1:1-2 (NASB) The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,

"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."

And what did Jonah do? He RAN AWAY. He basically said to himself, "Nah, I'm not going to do what God told me to do." Later, he as much as says, "God, You're wrong. Just shoot me now."

Do you ever do that? I've never asked God to take my life from me like Jonah did, and I pray I never will. And as awesome as ships are, I've never got on a boat to try to flee from God.

But at times I sure have said, "No, I don't want to do this...." And more often I delay obedience until God presses on my heart that yes, really I'd better do this. (I've heard it said that "obedience delayed is disobedience.")

I'm trying to get better at just acting when I feel the Spirit lead, but it's something I sometimes struggle with.

Confessions aside, my point was, which do you think is worse? Disobeying God's direct call, like Jonah did, or not knowing right from wrong, like Nineveh?

Luke 12:47-48 (NASB) "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Ouch for Jonah. Ouch for us. Thank God for His grace through Jesus' sacrifice, and I pray I more readily do our Master's will.

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