Monday, February 23, 2009

Why Did Jonah Finally Go?

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.

So did Jonah go just because he figured God was a big meanie who would zot him if he didn't go like he was told???

When we studied the third chapter of Jonah recently, we spent a lot of time talking about the theology of the cross.

Jonah may have had head-knowledge of God's word and God's mercy, but he didn't trust in it, and he didn't want that mercy extended to Israel's enemy. So he tried to run away to Tarshish.

So God drowned his Old Adam in the sea and in the great fish. Jonah did not throw himself overboard; he was thrown. Jonah did not put himself into the fish; he was swallowed. He did not save himself from the fish's belly; he was vomited out. It was all done TO him.

Neither do we kill our Old Adam. We can't. We like him too much. We enjoy him too much. We don't like being killed.

So God, in His mercy, puts to death the unbelief in us. When our head-knowledge is right, but the trust of our heart is still divided, God saves us by smashing our wrong beliefs. This is not a happy and fun thing. It hurts. A lot. But God is patient and will continue being faithful to us until His work of death/resurrection in us accomplishes what He desires.

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