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God is…Merciful

March 7, 2011

Last week for my jr. youth night, we had a Bible study on Jonah.

Just so you are aware, God has given me a weird way of thinking. There are passages in the Bible that i read, and come away with a totally different perspective than i have always been taught about that passage.

And getting ready for the Jonah study, the same thing happened.

I have heard sermons on Jonah before. They have always dealt with the giant fish, or running away from God and finally walking the right path again.

As i prepared, something occurred to me. When Jonah is on the boat going to Tarshish, he is asleep while the rest of the people on the boat are struggling to survive. This caught me off guard. There is chaos all around Jonah. There is a good chance that men on the boat were running around by his cabin or bed, trying to find stuff to throw overboard.

But Jonah is sleeping.

The thing that caught me off guard, and it’s where i led the Bible study, is that Jonah was a prophet. He was a man of God who trusted and believed in God. I was not surprised by the fact that Jonah was running away, trying to do his own thing, because there are other examples of that going on in the Bible too. What surprised me is that Jonah was sleeping.

This got me thinking: As Christians, are we asleep sometimes?

I can think back in my own life to several situations where i was “Christian” but living my life in complete rebellion to everything that being a Christian is. I was asleep, metaphorically speaking. I didn’t have a clue. God might have been calling me to do something for him, and i was so asleep i missed the opportunity, or had to be violently awoken.

Jonah wakes up, and realizes what he has done, true, but he still goes reluctantly.

Scripture tells us that Nineveh had 120,000 people in it, and took three days just to walk through. It also tells us the sermon Jonah preached on the first day he entered Nineveh in Jonah 3:4: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

That’s it. One sentence.

And 120,000 people repented.

God is merciful. He spared Nineveh from destruction. Who will he be merciful to when you speak?

Is God calling you somewhere? Are you asleep? What one sentence are you supposed to say, that people will turn to God?

 

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