Kellie, Isabella, Isaiah, and Pastor Chris

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Word November 2, 2011

 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
(Jonah 1:11-16 ESV)

I have really thought much over these verses over the past few days and I want to highlight something that I missed on Sunday.  Remembering the context - God is angry.  Jonah has been disobedient and God is justifiably angry in this moment.  His wrath must be satisfied.  In God's eyes, wrath can only be satisfied through sacrifice.  That sacrifice is either a sacrifice provided or it must be our own lives.  After all, our own sin is what has angered a holy God, therefore, it is just and holy of God to carry out his wrath against us, it is what we deserve.  The sailors, they ask Jonah, "What can we do?" - Really, "What can we do to appease God's anger against us?"  Jonah has two options.  First, he could have confessed his sin and offered a propitiation offering according to the Old Testament Law.  Second, he could face the wrath upon himself.  But who would want the latter?  Who wants to face God's wrath?

Yet Jonah is in such a terrible place spiritually, that he would prefer to face God's wrath than obey God's voice.  He is at the height of arrogance.  He is bound and determined to run his own life.  What a terrible place to be in, yet it wasn't that long of a road to travel.  Beloved, now is the time to learn about the damage of pride and self dependence.  God forgive me for when I am like Jonah.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Word November 1, 2011

 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
(Jonah 1:8-10 ESV)

So God is showing himself providential, the cat is now out of the bag, the jury has made its conclusion - everything is the result of Jonah's disobedience.  One can only imagine, how this must have weighed on Jonah, certainly this was why he was sleeping - he was worn out and tired of running from God.  He knew who was to blame and he probably forsook life itself.  What is remarkable however, is not that Jonah's sin found him out, what is remarkable is how his sin is now beginning to do something in the heart of the pagan sailors.  Remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom - these sailors were fearing the Lord!  Certainly they did not have it all figured out, they were not making professions of faith at this moment, but we can see how God is using Jonah's disobedience to begin to do a work in these pagan sailors' lives.

Just an interesting thought that I had today - Jonah was running from his calling.  Remember that God had called Jonah to be his messenger, to carry his message.  Jonah had refused.  But in spite of Jonah's refusal, guess what? - Jonah was still being God's messenger!  Isn't it uplifting to realize that even though we sin and mess up, God's plans are not thwarted?!  Beloved this can be our only confidence.

When I consider how rotten and sinful I am, it is easy to wonder how God could use me.  I cannot speak for everyone else, but I know that in so many ways I am Jonah, no I am worse than Jonah.  And yet - God is faithful to carry out His purposes!