Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
In the book of Jonah, God gets right to work. In chapter one, verse two, God speaks to Jonah to “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” Immediately, we have a problem. You need to take time and read the book of Jonah closely. It is an amazing story. Once again, immediately, upon God’s call to Jonah, there is a major problem. Now think of this. Nineveh is the modern-day city of Mosul, Iraq. Jonah was a Hebrew. Even in those days, there was really no good thing between the Hebrew people and people of other religions of the earth, especially those who were polytheists. The separating issues were religion, politics, and race. Don’t be shocked by my words, but in the final analysis, Jonah was a racist with strong religious feels. So, can you imagine the flood of thoughts that raced through Jonah’s mind when God tells him to go to Nineveh to prophecy its destruction due to its wickedness? Let there be no doubt, this was a “You talking to me?” moment towards God for Jonah.
My friend, I will be blunt and clearly spoken. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING trumps the Word of God, or a command from the Lord. NOTHING! What God commands is to be carried out. Never forget that it will be those who are both “willing” and “obedient” to the Lord that will eat of the good of the land. In this case, Jonah’s “You talking to me?” moment drew him into both arenas of failure. He was neither “willing” nor “obedient.” He was both UNwilling and DISobedient. Still, God wanted to use Jonah, so He set things in motion to bring Jonah back to repentance, and ultimately willing obedience. It didn’t happen suddenly. Both the willingness and obedience took some time for compliance. Know this; God’s foreknowledge is limitless. He knows the end from the beginning. If God calls on you, He already knows your response. He will call on you with all the necessary time in place for you to get the job done, so you are without excuse.
You know the story. When Jonah rose UP to flee from the Lord’s call, everything else was DOWN. Down to Tarshish, Down to Joppa, Down to the ship, Down in the ship, Down into the sea, and Down into the fish’s belly. That will always be the result of disobedience. But God. How often has “but God” been a divine strategy in our lives to draw us back to where the Lord wants us? In the fish’s belly, Jonah cried out to God and repented, so the fish spit him up on a beach. But there was still a long journey to comply with the Lord. Has the Lord called on you? Did you have a “You talking to me?” moment? Have you repented? There may still be a long journey, but fret not; the Lord is with you. And yes, He’s still talking to you.
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4