Thursday, June 18, 2015
The Jonah Principle, part 3
Once Jonah found himself on the beach and no longer in the belly of the fish he obeyed. It's funny what three days in the belly of a fish will do for a stubborn heart, a rebellious prophet.
He must have looked quite the mess. Bleached skin, smelly clothes, disheveled hair. What an odd site to see. When he finally came to the city of Nineveh he began to proclaim the message God gave him...at least he proclaimed part of it. He said, "In 40 days God will destroy you all!"
I'm sure he was hopeful of that outcome. I imagine the people were shocked because although he had only gone a days journey through the city the word had spread citywide. The people repented and God extended mercy.
Jonah had offered them no hope.
He promised no mercy, only judgment.
I'm sure it wasn't at all the message God had given him, but it was the message he hoped would happen to this wicked city.
God had other plans. Plans for mercy and grace.
Here's the third principle in this story of Jonah- God can do amazing things with even half-hearted obedience.
Clearly, in the story of chapter 3 in Jonah, the prophet was reluctant, grumpy and hoping for fire and brimstone when he gave the message God had given him....at least he gave part of it.
The truth of scripture is that God works with broken, cracked and reluctant servants like Jonah to bring him glory and extend grace and mercy to lost men.
God can do amazing things with reluctant half-hearted obedience. All he asks is that we obey. He will do the rest and it will be amazing.