Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday at my Church

The story of Jonah and the whale may be one of the best known stories in the Old Testament. In July 2010 Jonah was the theme of a funeral in Indiahoma. I'll always remember that funeral when I come in contact with Jonah.

Today in church our preacher preached on "the end of the story." Jonah did not want to go tell the people of Nineveh that they would soon perish as a result of their evil, wicked ways. They were enemies of Israel. Why should he have to have any contact with them? But God wore him down and Jonah finally agreed to walk into and across Nineveh. It took 3 days! He preached as he walked, "In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed."

Jonah expected the people to ignore him and God, but they didn't. From the king on down, every man, woman, child and animal fasted and cried to God for help. God took pity on them and did not destroy them.

Jonah's reaction was anger. Jonah went and told his enemies that his God was displeased and would destroy them. Then God treats his enemies like they are family. What's up with that?

And as usual, we aren't so very different from characters in the Bible. How often do we want God to crush our enemies? And why do we even consider other people as our enemies?

Our preacher challenged us to consider who our enemies are and instead of hating them, talk to them for God and maybe they will be spared the same way the whole city of Nineveh was.

Have you crossed paths with Jonah? I'd like to hear about it.


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