This past weekend I spent some time studying the story of Jonah. Yes, the prophet of old who spent three days in the belly of a big fish because he ran away from God. I was however, looking past that and looking at the way he viewed and thought about the people of the city that God told him to go encourage and teach.
When God told Jonah to go to his own kind, he was willing to go, but when the command required him to cross cultural boundaries, he froze and high tailed it out of Dodge – abandoning hope, faith, and the eyes of God.
Take a look at this. See what God said to him when Jonah was whining and crying that God had mercy, and then whining and crying even more after a vicious worm destroyed his favorite shade tree.
10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city? Jonah 4:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
Oh, it’s not that I sit here years removed and look down my nose at Jonah, for I find myself in his very position quite often. I might not take a physical trip to avoid the commandment, but I find plenty of diversions and side shows to keep me removed from the greatness of hope, faith and the eyes of God.
Today, let’s make sure our focus in our the things that God sees, and not the items that we might seek in vain!