Friday, August 04, 2006
Who, Who, Who, Who? I Really Wanna Know 8/4
Jonah Flees From the LORD
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." 3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
There is a myth out there that living for God is all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s white-knuckles and running away to Tarshish.
Did you know that God will ask you to do things you don’t want to do?
I suspect you do know this. That may be why you won’t really sell yourself out to Him.
“Don’t judge me!”, you’re saying.
Oh, I’m not judging you. Couldn’t if I wanted to. Because I am you.
Of course, finally forcing yourself to do what God wants you to will result in great joy.
Not. Well, not always and not necessarily right now. Or even before you die.
Jonah's Anger at the Lord 's Compassion
1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."
Sometimes you can do just exactly what God wants you to do, and end up really ticked off at what happens as a result. Jonah was angry because these foul people God made him preach to actually repented and got a second chance. Jonah wanted them to pay just a little bit for their crimes. Maybe you don’t want to forgive someone, you want to see them pay just a little bit for their crimes. Maybe doing what God wants will cost you relationships, hobbies, money, career. Maybe you feel like it will cost you, you.
You’re right. It will cost you everything.
So why do it? Why sell out? Oh, to go to heaven, you might say.
Realistically, that won’t keep you living for Christ.
You must give your whole being over to God because He is God. He doesn’t owe you a blessed thing. You owe Him the breath in your lungs and the blood in your veins.
You must turn your every thought and action over to God because you’ve no right to do otherwise.
4 But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die.”10 But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
Now, you may have skipped past all that scripture. Maybe it’s too much reading. Maybe you don’t believe in the Bible. Maybe you don’t like the way it makes you feel. Maybe you think I’m self-righteous. That’s your call. It’s between you and God.
Here’s the Cliff’s notes, Jonah ran away from God, God still found him. Jonah did what God wanted and was ticked at the results so he ran away to pout. God still found him. Jonah was mad, God told him to get over himself. God informed Jonah that he was self centered and proud and worried about things that he had no right to. The lesson was for Jonah in the end and it was this, “Just who do you think you are?”
So I’m asking, just who do you think you are?
And by you, I mean me.
Thailand Prayer Request: Safe food & water; no illness.