I must admit that as time goes by and I get older, my toleration level seems to be getting weaker and weaker. It would seem that in these days of vast change on a rapid scale that one can barely catch a breath before we are hit with some other explosive piece of news.
I can’t help but wonder if this doesn’t lead us all into overwrought sensitivities and worked up emotions to the point we lose the ability to judge accurately and fairly.
At times I look around and I wonder if our Father watches us in hurt and grief at seeing a bunch of His children with a very bad case of the Jonah complex.
We all know the story of Jonah or at least we think we do. He’s the crazy prophet who ran from God and got swallowed by a whale. Ask any small child in Sunday School and they will tell you. After all the the Asparagus portraying him didn’t get it or don’t you remember the song? Jonah was a prophet ooh ooh, but he never really got it, a doodly do…
There is so much more to the story of Jonah that we don’t have the time to go into, but there is a point I want to make that is really important. It’s important because at the end of the day or clearly as we grow closer to the day of Christ return we need to be very careful that we are really about the Father’s business.
The Father’s business is not destroying people. Just in case you think that is a misprint let me repeat it again. The Father’s business is NOT destroying people.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
The story of mankind from Genesis chapter one until Revelation 22 to the final Amen is such a beautiful, breathtaking, jaw dropping explosion of love for humanity that you can ever hope to read. God has woven an awesome story of love and redemption from start to finish.
Somehow I get the idea that many of you are sitting on the sidelines with your popcorn buckets, candy and coke waiting for the fire to fall so you can cheer God on. Glory to God hallelujah~ They got what they deserved. Whoo hoo… they are going to burn up, God’s going to burn it up…
Just so you know those statements are direct quotes taken from various social media sites and I could list more but frankly it turns my stomach to even mention 2 of them. All these from supposed “Christian” people. Am I the only one who sees anything wrong with this picture?
You say, well Shawn, I’m rejoicing that the wicked are going to get their due. Oh really? Find me chapter and verse and show me one person, just one person who rejoiced in the wicked being destroyed and how God was okay with it. Then tell me again just exactly how righteous you are and how you deserved God’s mercy and they don’t.
You see Jonah hated Nineveh, not only were they evil they had been a thorn in the side of the Israelites for a very long time. They had killed their families and had oppressed them mightily. The hatred between them ran very, very deep. I dare say that you and I wouldn’t have been so inclined to go to Nineveh either unless we were packing heat, a sack lunch and didn’t plan on ever going home again.
We have this ideology that because we are the “children of God” we are superior above all else. While we are beloved and God does love us so much, you better understand that He loves the wicked as well. He sent His Son to die for the sins of the whole entire world and that was not on a whim. His mercies are extending even now beyond our understanding to people we don’t think deserve it. If you think He sent His Son and it was some kind of game you are sadly mistaken. Love for us sent His Son and that was love for the entire world. In my bible John 3:16 is in red meaning that Jesus said it… I will let you chew on that one awhile.
Just like Jonah we’ve decided who we think are fit for the Kingdom of God. So we tell God no, I’m not going there or no, I’m doing that they don’t deserve your favor. Or we say okay I will go but I’m not saying anything and if I do it will be what I want to say. If we do say anything we secretly hope it falls on deaf ears so we have something to watch in the end. “Burning down the house, du, du, du, du, du burning down the house” what? Oh sorry… forgot where I was for a minute. Do you see how this is really pathetic. How it all must look to a very Long-suffering, Merciful Father.
We’ve got ourselves all poised on the edge of the cliff, like Jonah waiting for the fire to fall, Oh boy any minute now and fire is going to fall, I can’t wait.
Tragically we fail to see the miracle of regenerated birth one tiny miracle seed at time.
We are so intent on hell fire and damnation that we miss the tiniest blossom of life growing just beneath a fertile soil of newly ground up dirt, rich with the overflowing love of God’s forgiveness.
We don’t want people forgiven, we don’t want them set free, we don’t them restored, we want them to pay, we want them to suffer. Like the famous words of Doc in Tombstone…” Make no mistake about it, it’s not revenge he’s after but the reckoning”
This is what I call the Jonah complex.
We want the whole wide wicked world to have their day of reckoning with absolutely no pardon, no plea, no deal. Guilty – off with their head like we are the queen in Alice’s rabbit hole. Oh but we don’t say it out loud now do we? Oh no~ we smile and we say things like: Get ready Jesus is coming or how about this one, some of you 60’s people remember this one ” turn or burn” by the The Byrds
Look with me in Jonah 3:1 And the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying
So we see that after the fish spit him out God spoke to Jonah again for the second time and told him to go to Nineveh and speak all that He commanded him to speak. We see in verse 3 that Jonah did go on the journey and when he got to Nineveh all he said was; Yet, forty days, and Nineveh will be overthrown. I’m not so sure this was all the word of the Lord to Nineveh, do you?
Nevertheless the people repented at the Word of The Lord and this made Jonah furious. Look at Chapter 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. I think he was angry because he still was trying to control the outcome. He told just enough that he could say he hadn’t disobeyed God again. He thought he had withheld just enough that they wouldn’t know what to do to repent and God would destroy them anyway.
You have to wonder why Jonah was so angry. Why didn’t he want them to have repentance, if it is true repentance wouldn’t it have been better all the way around. The story goes that Nineveh was a very wicked city. So it would have been advantageous to all of Israel to have them repent don’t you think? Where in all that was Jonah’s rejoicing? Where was Jonah’s awe factor in the mercy of God toward a heathen nation?
The truth is, like Jonah was then so are we now. We really don’t want America to repent now do we? It is really easier for us to sit around and judge, judge, judge because we think that will gain us audience with God. Well folks you couldn’t be more wrong. Let me show you why.
In reading the scriptures I notice a pattern and I believe God is showing me this. Each time that God’s people followed Him with their whole heart the land was blessed and very much so. When they began to wander even the slightest little bit, God began to move off of them. When they turned completely aside after false gods, God removed Himself entirely from the equation.
What I began to notice is this; there would come a righteous ruler and all would be well for 20 to 40 years. When this ruler would die, immediately they returned to the false gods. Immediately God sent them into bondage to somebody. 5 years, 10 years, 20, years. Ultimately they went into captivity for 70 years for disobeying God’s command entirely. Wouldn’t you imagine in all those years they complained. Complained about the sorry leadership, the sorry men over them. The harsh conditions, the heavy taxation and on & on. Yet, God never moved on their behalf until…until they said “we have sinned against the Lord”
The key to America being a christian nation, starts with us. II Chronicles 7:14
We need to repent and we need to throw off the Jonah complex now. You can’t possibly understand the mercy of God and His grace for mankind if you are sitting up there on that hillside waiting for it all to burn up and you don’t care. If you don’t care, then my friend you don’t know the Lord at all and you need to pray He will show you mercy.
I am going to leave you with the words of Asaph and Psalms 73 It is a beautiful illustration of the Jonah complex and how God showed him his own heart and how much it grieved him.
Let’s let the word of God grieve us again over people. Let’s let His love take control of our emotions over who’s worthy and who’s not worthy and allow God to use us as catalyst to reach those that are lying in the highways and hedges instead. Those who are blind, lame and ruined are the ones who need mercy, but yet so do the loud, arrogant and proud. We won’t admit it but allot of us fall into the latter category more often than not.
vs. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked, vs. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily vs. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. vs. 16 When I thought to know this it was too painful for me; vs. 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end, vs. 21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. vs 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was a beast before thee.
See the end of the wicked is destruction no doubt. It is as sure as the sun rises and sets. The deal is that we as God’s people are not supposed to rejoice when the enemy falls or when he is destroyed.
**(See II Samuel 3 and read what happened to Joab for slaying a man he thought worthy of death.)**
We don’t get to choose who is ripe for destruction and thank goodness for that. Some of you would have already burned me to the ground. We lean on the everlasting mercy of God Almighty alone. Don’t be a Jonah and get mad when God spares your enemies, rejoice because God is so merciful over every single thing that breathes life.
We are called to seek the lost, spread the gospel and compel them to come to Christ. We are not called to decide who is worthy of such a awesome love.
Our only mandate from God is to go, everything else is disobedience~
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Jesus
I”m hid with Christ~