While joyfully romping in revelation, it recently became clear I had visited the land of Jonah without realization. “What, God? Really?! Ugh!” were the thoughts that began filling my mind initially, but soon beauty in the midst claimed control as the sunny yellow flowers of faith began rising.
Now Yahweh’s word came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.”
Jonah 1:1-2 WEB
It sounds clear as a bell…
Yet, Jonah found himself running away, fleeing from the very One who had his back. This is the One, God Almighty, who cared immensely for Jonah and each of the people of Nineveh, the ones He hand made. He cared enough to send one lone voice, his beloved Jonah, to cry “wrong way, turn and be saved!” He desired to send one….to save many. (120,000 in Nineveh) Jonah, however, did not have the same intense desire or concern for others.
Clear as crystal was the call, yet Jonah stashed it in a cabinet far away from view and placed his fleshly desire on the cake pedestal instead, fleeing from the goodness of the Lord. Placed on his pedestal was Jonah’s selfish desire. Yes, emotional decisions were made all in the name of “ME”. His desire to please his will, not God, brought forth a rise of trouble and nearly the demise of 120,000. Somehow he missed having the heart of God.
Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Jonah 2:8 WEB
Those who pay regard to false, useless, and worthless idols forsake their own [Source of] mercy and loving-kindness.
Was he waiting for their destruction, secretly hoping they would be gone and out of his life forever? Poof! Do we sometimes do that? Do we purposefully avoid contact with those who are difficult to love because it suits our needs instead? Do we sit “comfortably” in our peasant palaces while they walk steadfastly toward destruction? All the while we sit and lick “our” wounds, caring little to nothing about the Ninevites we’ve been called to. It can be so easy, yet there is much at stake for ourselves and others. Our idols of: “But, how will I look?”, “I’m afraid to say that.”, “I don’t care about them!” will stifle us into complacency, far from the grip of love. Yet, as we sit reminded, His loves conquers all.