Thursday, November 21, 2019

No Room for a Rebellion

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.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said,  “I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me.I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. “For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas,And the current engulfed me.All Your breakers and billows passed over me.

These two sections of the first part of Jonah Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 leave a lot unspoken for 2 days worth.   As we read throughout the whole book, Jonah was an embittered soul.  Hatred for his people's enemies permeates his soul. He loathed the idea of them living even another day.  His hatred for the Ninevites ran deep. 

Even blinding him towards obedience.  

Hatred isn't the only emotion to blind people.  There are others, not the least of which is joy or happiness.  Two sides of the same coin. 

But it's not just that it took Jonah 2 days to pray to God about this.  Undoubtedly he was saying quite a bit in those 2 days.  It just wasn't what the Lord was wanting written.  It didn't add to the message of this book.  In our world of instant reporting we have seen and heard the volume and duration that people who are in a crisis of distress go on and on.  Jonah was no different.  

So why was it two days until something significant was written?  Because nothing significant was being said by Jonah. 

It's abundantly obvious a great deal of the rebellion in Jonah was crushed in his near death experience.  I do not subscribe to the teaching that Jonah died. He was not like Elijah or is in the same league as Moses, who will be called upon to live and die at least one more time.  They are the two Witnesses in the book of Revelation. 

Jonah was like that outrageous child we see in public whereby their safety requires them to be restrained.  Jesus was going to use a whale to restrain the rebellion in Jonah. 

Matthew 12:40 also lends credence to the notion that it was the number of days in the whale that were important to Jonah not that he died and came back. 

But what of the turn around?  Yes Jonah was indeed turned around.  Even though he repented he had a ways to go.  As it is with you and I. 

There are things in our lives that, if we are truthful with ourselves, will be seen as God see them...they are rebellious acts.

Now it's happened in recent times of others being swallowed by a whale and surviving, its not likely that God will use one to curb our rebellion. 

Read in Ezekiel.  Read in Jeremiah.  Israel from its earliest days was in rebellion to the Lord.  God had to and still is dealing with their rebellion.  

He deals with our rebellion too.  We often wonder about the why of what we go through in life.  In the life of a believer it's about growing in Christ and removing what won't help that to happen. 

We see Jonah having surgery to remove huge parts of him that would not make him more like Christ.  The interesting thing now is he is with many who did repent and were saved as he had been. 

Look at your life.  Are there areas where you are in rebellion?  Are you embracing things you should not?  In Ezekiel the Lord had a grocery list of things concerning Jerusalem.  Are you embracing something or someone that has taken the place of Jesus role in your life?  If anything or anyone is more important than Jesus in your life then you have a need to correct that.  Scripture says that our God is a jealous God.  Be careful of your heart.  Do you not remember what Jesus said? If you love anything or anyone more than me you are not worthy of Me? Paraphrasing of course. 

Look at your heart. 

Look at how you dress. 

Do you show the world to whom you belong?  Is your life a reflection of Jesus or of someone or something else?

Consider your heart.  Jesus promised that all rebellion will be dealt with.  It's easier on us if we submit now rather than go through the lesson later to remove it. 

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