Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday, June 21: Jonah 1-4 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jonah 1-4

But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry”
Jonah 4:1

In today’s reading we read the familiar story of Jonah running from God’s command to go reach the lost people of Ninevah, God working in his heart by placing him in the belly of a fish & him deciding that maybe he should listen after all.

A man of God & yet he purposely chose not to listen/obey.

[Jonah was a prophet (possibly even a member of the company of prophets mentioned together with Elisha’s story in 2 Kings 2:3).  I found that note quite interesting, I always knew the Bible story but never recognized him actually as a prophet of God.]

How often do we as Christians choose & willfully do things that we know would not honor God or what he would have for us.  And yet we do them anyway.

When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, & my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
Jonah 2:7

All the sudden, we’re dealing with consequences (just like Jonah) & we are begging for forgiveness.  Then, after we have tried to do things our way, failed & begged God for help, we’re ready to do it his way.  Talk about slow learners.  Time & again God shows his patience & love for us as we work through our rebellious nature.

Jonah decides to obey God & then has a fit when the people of Ninevah readily accept God’s love because God is too “gracious & compassionate, slow to anger & abounding in love” Jonah 4:2

It is so ironic how Jonah forgets his own shortcomings & finds other so undeserving.

Sadly to say, as Christians we do that time & again.  One sin is worse than another or how do we accept the thought that a criminal is just as worthy of God’s grace as we are.  So hard to swallow.

One sobering thought came to me as I was processing this; perhaps as Christians (who should know better) we should be even more accountable for our actions when we purposely choose to defy God than someone who’s never known him.

Wow, I'm so thankful for my God who so mercifully forgives me time & again.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Amos 1-5

1 comment:

Tammy Reimer said...

Like Jonah, we are so often all too eager to accept God's forgiveness for our own sins, but not as eager to extend the offer of God's forgiveness to those we feel are undeserving. It reminds me of the parable Jesus told in the NT about the man who was forgiven a great debt by the king, and then went out and forced another man's family into slavery until his smaller debt would be repaid to him.

I can relate to Jonah. When I think of the most evil among us - everyone from Hitler to Stalin to serial killers, rapists, and human traffickers - I tend to think that they're going to get what's coming to them, and am rather happy about that fact. Which only exposes my own sinful heart. Yes, our hearts should cry out for justice. But they should also cry out for mercy and the softening of even the most hardened of hearts. After all, none of us our saved on our own merits, and none of us can contribute anything to our own salvation.