Friday, January 25, 2008

NEIGHBORS: Those Ninevites around us!

"Then God said to Jonah, 'Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?' And he said, 'I have good reason to be angry, even to death.' Then the LORD said, 'You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?'"
Jonah 4:9-11
A couple attended a neighborhood wedding reception. While there they had a wonderful time conversing with a very polite young man. Eventually, he excused himself but was quickly replaced by a friend and neighbor. They apologized for not introducing the young man but admitted they didn’t know his name. “O’ that’s all right,” she said. “We already know him, he’s our son.”

This illustrates a problem of our time; frustrated with the sad state of our world we complain loudly yet insulate ourselves from our own neighbors. How can we expect our voice to be heard when we so uninvolved. This attitude is close to calling into question the very character of God (perhaps even his nature).

God has clearly told us to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” [Matthew 22:39] He also provided the parable of the “good Samaritan” [Matthew 10:30-37] for the same reason. God wants us to know our neighbors.

Only when we sincerely seek the redemption of our fallen neighbors, rather than their capitulation to our world-view, will we understand how God is “slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness” [4:2] toward all men!

Only when we serve God unconditionally will we ever understand how God is “a gracious and compassionate God” [4:2] toward all men!

Jonah was a normal, everyday human being, from a normal common in life; but he was RUNNING FROM GOD. God was just not doing things the way Jonah wanted them done.

Jonah was living his life pretty much as God asked him to; but these Ninevites? AARRRGHHHH!!!!!!

No comments:

, , ,