Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Welcome to Day 177 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Jonah 1-2, “The book of the prophet Jonah falls into two main divisions, each introduced by the sentence, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah.” The first division comprises two sections: the call, flight, and judgment of Jonah (chapter 1), and the thanksgiving psalm (chapter 2).
Jonah 3-4, “In this second division of the book Jonah preaches the message God commanded, and the people of Nineveh respond with genuine repentance (chapter 3). When the Lord turns from threatened judgment, we learn the real reason why Jonah had fled the first time: he feared that God would show mercy to the hated Assyrians (chapter 4). In the object lessons that follow, the wideness of the Lord’s mercy and compassion is revealed.
1:7, “Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out
who is responsible
for this calamity.”
4:11, [But the Lord said…] “Should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
2 Timothy 2:1, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
v 7 “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
Interesting how on the ship “All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.”
The sailors knew this was an unusual storm. Something must have been different. They discerned that something was amiss… each called out to his own god.
But the question they asked was “Who is responsible?”
They didn’t ask, “Why is this happening?” They got the answer to that question, though. They already knew Jonah was running from God. (He had told them.)
Does this mean someone is responsible for every storm? Or that God causes every storm.
And I can say that in full confidence.
Remember when Elijah had dusted the prophets of Baal, then went up the mountain? There was a great wind, earthquake and fire, and the Lord was not in any of them. (1 Kings 19).
He was in the gentle whisper (v 12).
Just when you think have him figured out, right after he showed up on Mt. Carmel… fire from heaven, (in dramatic fashion) he’s not in the next three dramatic (natural) occurrences.
As one reads through the Old Testament, it’s pretty clear that God rendered judgment on people pretty often for their disobedience.
But you find that in the New Testament, except for a few times (Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5) and in Revelation. In fact, when the disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven on Samaria, Jesus rebuked them.
Jesus was into mercy.
(Remember the woman caught in adultery?)
The teachers of the Law wanted to stone her according to the law, but Jesus dissuaded them.
God even extended mercy to the people of Nineveh.. because they repented.
God always, always, always extends mercy when there is repentance.
The city of Nineveh, as a whole, repented and God refrained from destroying it.
And Jonah was upset by that?
Jesus said, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13
Thank you Lord for your mercy!