MONDAY, JULY 9
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”
Jonah 1:1-3 NASB
ON THE RUN: RUNNING FROM GOD’S VOICE
Some say Larry Bird was one of the greatest NBA players of all time. During the final seconds of an especially tense close game, Boston Celtics coach, K. C. Jones, called a time-out. As he gathered the players together at court-side, he diagrammed a play only to have Larry Bird interrupt him and say, “Just get the ball to me and get everybody else out of my way.” Jones exploded. He looked at Larry Bird and said, “I’m the coach and I’ll call the plays!” Then he turned to the other players and said, “Get the ball to Larry and get out of his way.” (Bruce Nash and Allen Sullo, “The Sports Hall of Shame) Well, they did what Larry Bird said and won the game.
Well, Larry Bird is not God, but God is God, and when God speaks, just listen and do what He says. God will give you the victory and He will get the glory. Jonah ran from God’s call to go preach to Nineveh because his agenda didn’t line up with God’s agenda. He didn’t want the people of Nineveh to experience mercy. The Ninevites were terrorist for all intents and purposes. They had inflicted great pain on Israel and Jonah wanted them to pay. Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse hit it right on the nose when he said that calling Jonah to go to the Ninevites was like asking a Jew from New York to go to Hitler after the holocaust and tell him that God loved him and that everything would be forgiven if we would repent.
Loving our enemies may be one of the hardest commands to obey. Yet we must desire the repentance and restoration of our enemies more than the punishment of them. There will be times when God gives us a clear instruction and we simply don’t agree or understand. It is at those times we must trust the wisdom and character of God and obey because of who He is. God still speaks and when He does He invites us to join Him in His work. What’s the last thing you believe God asked you to do? Did you do it or not? What was the result?