This morning being my first bible study in a while I was unsure of what I would be studying so I said a prayer and began to flip the pages of my bible. There are many different ways that I do my devotionals, sometimes I pick a topic that I need to work on, sometimes I pick a topic that I am curious about. Other times I get curious about something out of the blue. And then there are mornings like this morning where I simply flip through and see if something stand out. This morning as I was flipping through my bible and I happened upon a print out from the wonderful church that I attended in Colorado. It’s called Grace Church of Arvada, you should check it out, Pastor Rick is a brilliant man with God’s grace of course. http://www.grace-alone.org/
So this page led me to the book of Obadiah. For those of you who don’t know, which is fine, no judgement here, this is the book in the bible about Jonah. If you remember from your childhood Sunday school classes he is the man who was swallowed by the whale for the simple reason of trying to run from God instead of doing as God asked him to and going to Nineveh to tell them to repent. I won’t go into the whole story here but you should read it sometime, it’s an interesting story. As a child and even as a Sunday school teacher I thought this story was about Jonah running away from God. Don’t get me wrong, it is very much about that, but there is another story that somehow I have missed all these years. Jonah’s story is not just about what can happen when you disobey God, or the miracle of the man who lived in the belly of whale for three days. This story is about Jonah’s lack of compassion for his fellow-man. If you read the whole story you discover that he felt more pity for a plant that died (which was providing him shade, I think this fact is just as important) than he did for the 120,000 approximate people who were going to be destroyed, as a matter of fact he was angry that God showed mercy on the people of Nineveh, probably because this made him look like a fool as he had prophesied that they would all be destroyed.
I am not a psychologist, or psychiatrist, I am just me, but I think that Jonah could easily be classified as a narcissist and possibly even a sociopath, but you see it didn’t matter because God used him to save 120,000 people.
There is a lot more that can be gleaned from this story such as the question of, “Was God really going to destroy the city or was he just trying to teach Jonah a lesson?” We will never know because the outcome was just as God wanted it to be in his mercy and grace. We never know what happens to Jonah as the book of Obadiah ends abruptly but I think it does so because it doesn’t matter after that, we are taught a few lessons, don’t run from God when he calls you to do something, you can’t escape God, repent and God will forgive you for He is merciful, have compassion and love for your fellow-man and stop focusing on yourself!
What a brilliant lesson for the day, let’s put it in our pocket and go about the rest of the day, occasionally we should pull it out and look at it to remind us of the grace given to us and the wonder that God is. 🙂
That was my discovery this morning. Might I suggest that you take a walk with God and His Word?
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