E100 Devotion – Day 49June 23, 2012
Reading: Jonah 1:1-4:11
Jonah is a great example of someone who flees from commitment. He gets a Word from the Lord to go to Nineveh and prophesy against it. Being a Hebrew, Jonah was raised to despise the people of Nineveh. They were enemies to Israel and he would rather see them judged than see them repent.
It’s so easy to justify our disobedience when we become critical and judgmental. We look for reasons why not to serve, why not to give, why not to attend church. We get offended with people so we quit serving. We justify not giving because we don’t agree with where the money goes. We skip going to church because we didn’t like the last message we heard.
In the last presidential election, half of the Christians who were eligible to vote didn’t vote because they didn’t think it would make a difference, they didn’t like anyone running for the office, or they just didn’t want to be bothered. We have civil responsibility and we will answer to God in what we do or don’t do with it.
When Jonah ran from commitment, he ran from God, he ran in the opposite direction and he went nowhere but down. He went down to the seashore, down to the bottom of the ship, down to the water, down into the belly of the fish into an environment of the downright miserable.
Running from commitment to God takes us no where good. When Jonah cries out to God and is delivered from the whale, he obeys God and goes to Nineveh and delivers the Word God gave him for them. They repent and turn towards God and the judgment is averted.
What does Jonah do? Celebrate? No, he gets angry, because he wasn’t expecting them to repent and avoid the coming judgment. God shows Jonah how selfish he is when he cares more about a plant that gives him shade that perishes, than 125,000 people who were saved from perishing. How little judgmental people value pity and mercy.
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