Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Continuing Attitude

Only this time it’s not Cain – but Jonah.

Sunday night Joel Haynes, a missionary to Navajos, visited our church. His family is one our church helps to support, not only with funding, but specific mission projects through a grouop of our ladies. Feel free to take some time now to click on his name and look at their work.

After showing a video of their work, he preached a thought-provoking sermon, starting with the last verse in Jonah:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (Jonah 4:11 KJV)

Parts of the sermon tied in so well with what I was working on about Cain’s attitude that I decided to put the two blogs close together. Jonah’s attitude was evident when God called him for a specific purpose:

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, (Jonah 1:2-3a KJV)

Don’t think too badly about him – haven’t we done exactly the same thing, not by going as far as leaving town but simply by turning our back on the Lord’s request for our time? Surely you jest – I don’t think you are that different from me and I know I’ve done it. Just look at the number of days my blog was not posted, and I believe it is something done for our Lord. I blew it.

Thankfully my attention to attitude didn’t take three days in a whale, but did take a lot longer. Still it was better than Jonah 1:4-2:10. At least Jonah had the opportunity to witness to the crew. Their prayers brought no results from false gods, Jonah knew what was happening and taught them obedience to the point of going overboard.

After reaching land, Jonah went to Nineveh, preached repentence before destruction, the people listened:

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (Jonah 3:5 KJV)

Great, right? Job accomplished, Jonah feels good? Not so:

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. (Jonah 4:1 KJV)

Bad attitude. Bad enough that God asked:

Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? (Jonah 4:4 KJV)

You’ll have to do your own reading of the book of Jonah to get the full story, I want to stop here with God’s question about Jonah’s attitude.

Ties beautifully back into our asking about our own attitudes, doesn’t it? Are we doing well when we are angry that we do not understand how God works or why we’re involved in that work? Are we right to be angry when we cannot understand:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)

Continued conversations with God is helpful in understanding. Read with me.

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