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26th September 2012
At the time of Jonah, Israel was enjoying a period of peace and prosperity under God's compassion. The Israelites were under no immediate threat from their enemies and were prospering economically and territorially. They were comfortable in their daily routine and able, for the most part, to forget about battles and war.
This sounds very familiar to me. When I get to a place where I'm comfortable with my life, I can get complacent. I don't invite friends to church because, well I have friends at church, I don't need to bring my non-Christian friends along - often they don't want to come anyway! I get into this mindset of, 'Why would I want to disrupt things when they're going so well?' Jonah was the same. Israel was a comfortable, peaceful place to live, why would he want to go to Nineveh, where evil is rising up and God is out of the picture?
Jonah tried to avoid confrontation, but actually made life a whole lot worse for himself. God wanted to save the people of Nineveh and wanted to use Jonah to do it. He has such compassion and wanted to pour it out on all people, not just Israel. In the same way, God wants us to become vehicles of compassion in the world that He has made and so deeply cares about, sharing His love with 'them', not just keeping it for 'us'.
There are many Ninevehs in our lives, places where life may be a little more uncomfortable when we proclaim the gospel there. But in the book of Jonah we see just how strongly God feels and how we are called to reach even our enemies. I doubt any of us want to be eaten by a giant fish, even metaphorically, so let's remember the part we have to play in God's plan for salvation and get ourselves on the road to our Nineveh!
Reading: Jonah 1-4
Question: Are you compassionate, comfortable or complacent?
Next prayer meeting: Tonight at 7.30pm at THC
Posted by Bekky Andrews