Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rebellion, or the down staircase

The Prophet Jonah, as depicted by Michelangelo...Image via Wikipedia

This previous Sunday I was privileged to be a guest worshipper at a small Baptist church near my home. The pastor delivered a sermon on Jonah, and I've been musing on some thoughts since his message. While I have heard the story of Jonah for many years, going back to "Granny Taylor's" beginner's Sunday School class, each time I am presented with something fresh - that is, each time I am open to the teaching and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

I have noticed how the 4 small chapters used to tell the story all tend to focus how life for Jonah seemed to be trapped on the down escalator. His life was spiralling downward from the moment that he rebelled against God. We are told that he went down to Joppa, went down in the ship, went down in the ocean, and went down inside the great fish. Down, down, down until he reached the bottom.

Only when Jonah could descend no further did he remember the provision offered by Solomon's dedicatory prayer of 2 Chronicles 6. There Solomon asked God to look favorably on His people in the future when they looked toward the temple and prayed. How did Jonah know which way to look? It's a God thing.

Our obedience should be complete, unwavering. James tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. We should exhibit the faith of the clerk in this news article:

Fort Bragg, North Carolina: A likely clerical error sent a supply clerk with the 82nd Airborne Division out the door of an airplane on his first parachute jump without any formal training. Army Specialist Jeff Lewis, 23, who landed unhurt, said he was just doing what a good soldier is supposed to do when he made the jump: Follow orders. "The Army said I was airborne-qualified," Lewis said. "I wasn't going to question it." Citation: Chicago Tribune (May 20, 2000)
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