Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Anyone?? Anyone??

I read through the book of Jonah this morning. It was not a big accomplishment the book is only four chapters; but what a packed four chapters it is. One of my favorite moves is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In the movie Ferris says "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I think this is the case for this book of the Bible. It is packed full of lessons and if we just breeze through it so we can say we read it we are doing ourselves a great disservice. One of the stories I like in the book of  Jonah found in  chapter 3 where God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and proclaim that judgement is coming:
Jonah 3: 1-4 - 1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."
What I like about this story is that Jonah is not very articulate, he is not verbose, he does not expound upon the scriptures. He simply does what God told him to do and he let God do the rest. Imagine if Jonah stepped up to the podium at your church and said "Forty more days and Montreal will be overturned." or "Forty more days and Queensland will be overturned." or "Forty more days and Washington will be overturned." Then he went back to his chair and sat down. What do you think the response would be. Well it depends. If it is what God told him to do then there may be a radical response just like what happened in the next verse: 
Jonah 3: 5 - The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
The Ninevites believed God, they did not believe Jonah, they believed God. When we obey God he will do an amazing work. I think that too many times we have bought into the idea that God cannot use us. We are not very smart, we are not very intelligent, we are not very good speakers and on and on the excuses come. We might even picture ourselves sounding like the boring Economics teacher (played beautifully by Ben Stein) from Ferris Bueller's Day Off boring everyone to tears with his repetition of Anyone?? Anyone??. We begin to sound like Moses with our trying to avoid doing what God has asked us to do: 
Exodus 4: 10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
But listen to God's reply:
Exodus 4: 11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
It is not what we can do on our own it is what God can do through us. He gave each of us our abilities and our inabilities. It is our responsibility to obey and let God do the rest. God reemphasized the importance of obedience in I Samuel when Saul disobeyed God and did what he thought was a good thing. God told him to attack the Amalekites and kill everything that breathed - men, women, children, cattle, etc.  Saul figured he would bring the king of the Amalekites and a few unblemished sheep back to camp. Thinking he was doing a good thing, God let him know otherwise:
I Samuel 15:22 -  But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
God has called each one of us to a task, he has equipped us with gifts and abilities to accomplished these things. Let's stop making excuses and start making an impact for the Kingdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment