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Why Jonah Ran

P1030476Be fair to Jonah. His mission was dangerous. Bearers of bad news had been killed for a lot less, even within the borders of Israel.

Imagine hearing, “Go to your enemies. The awful ones.  Tell them that in 40 days the God of Israel is going to destroy them.”

Yet when the prophet eventually delivered his message, people as evil as God-only-knows listened. The king of the great city-nation of Nineveh decreed, “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.

And God relents.

You might think that Jonah would have breathed a sigh of relief. But he doesn’t. What was he to make of a God who doesn’t keep his word— but instead ends up showing mercy to a whole city of terrible people that didn’t have the moral sense “to tell their right hand from their left?”

But that wasn’t Jonah’s issue. As it turns out he didn’t run in the opposite direction for fear of what terrorists would do to him.

In his own words, he says, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

CamelQuite a tale we tell our children. If what they hear about Jonah and the whale really does capture their imagination, maybe—when they are old— they will still be thinking about a prophet who knew his God well enough… to read between the lines.







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96 Responses to “Why Jonah Ran”

  1. tracey5tgbtg says:

    So, from Jonah’s words, we can see that Jonah knows God. He knows that God is gracious and merciful. Jonah didn’t want God to relent in his anger towards the Ninevites. Jonah wanted them to be held accountable for their sin.

    When everything happened as Jonah envisioned, the Ninevites repented and God relented, Jonah was so angry he wanted to die.

    I don’t think Jonah was a bad person. His actions just show how very hard it is with our human nature to love and forgive our enemies. It is so hard to reach out to those who appear to be truly heinous in their sin.

    Jonah knows God and from the words he said to God, it is obvious he has no problem telling God exactly what he thinks, which is good, because God knows what Jonah thinks anyway.

    We might as well come clean with God and tell Him what we feel in our hearts.

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    This is a story not easily forgotten — especially the big fish sent by the Lord to swallow Jonah. In view of the cruelty of the Assyrians — and their unjust control of the Middle East in their period of power — Jonah’s soul would cry out for God’s harsh judgment on them, not God’s mercy, it seems to me.

    He does know the heart of God, agreeing with you Tracey.

    Jonah says:

    “…I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

    What does this sovereign move of the Creator God have to do with our lives and our era of history? When we know why Jonah ran, we may be strengthened to simply show up — giving our great God at least our obedience to His Law of Love.

    God’s great heart for His evil children must transform my small-minded, vengeful attitude toward enemies. Can I be part of the spreading victory of Christ’s blood in the world?


    40F with rain showers this morning

  3. jeff1 says:

    I agree that we need to be honest with God, but it is not always easy to be honest with ourselves as I have discovered.

    I blinded myself for a very long time for various reasons, partly I wanted to believe that God was on our side, it took me a lifetime to discover that God does not work like that, and also I discovered that when I deleved into our own sides history, there was a lot I did not know.

    You hear what you want to for it was not that I did not have an earthly father who was warning me of my folly.

    I run from God because I know I have wrong thoughts and my heart is not always right with Him and as it turns out I am exactly like my enemies.

    It is God who reveals it but only as I grow in my wisdom of Him.

    Over here we call it kettle calling the pot black.

    In my stuborness, I wanted to believe, that if I only had hate in my head and heart that God would not see my sin as great, but God knows the damage I do to myself as well as others when I am in denial and will keep on pressing it home until I agree that the sin is mine.

    I have gotten God’s intentions wrong, so many times, which means I don’t really know God at all. It bothers me that I can be so very blind in seeing how God’s motives are always for good.

    I have so much growing to do.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Honestly I don’t know if what I have said over the past several days went unread or went not understood or if it even matters at all. In fact I didn’t respond at first this morning in an attempt to sort out whether it mattered to say anything at all that would not just be repeating myself.

    God used the circumstances He arranged in this matter to show His power as well as His mercy. The King of Nineveh believed God. The people of Nineveh obeyed their King. Was it the king of Nineveh who suddenly became soft hearted towards Israel and seen the light of his evil treatment of them and repented of his and his country’s evil ways? Or was it God who opened up his heart and eyes to the truth?

    This in itself is a miracle. Just like any sinner who finally sees his wrong doing and asks God for mercy, by first believing God and repenting of his ways. Repenting also means discontinuing of sinful or evil activities.

    God rewards confession and repentance and Jonah knew this.

    God, through this actual living event of human history gives a glimpse of His intentions for all of rebellious mankind.

    Jonah the messenger is thrown into the sea to appease Israel’s God. Jesus is nailed to the cross to appease Israel’s God. God calms the storm and the ship and sailors are saved; God calms the storm of the ages and reconciles mankind to Himself all are saved by the act of the cross. Jonah spends time in the belly of the beast, Jesus spends time in the belly of the earth.

    The results are that all who believed were saved in both circumstances.

    Jonah is disgruntled just like Paul who wants to see justice through the law instead of God’s perfect justice through mercy.

    Jonah wasn’t permitted to see the bigger picture until God explained it to him there with the story of the vine, which also has long reaching implications and worth deeper study at another time.

    Light snow and 29 degrees.


  5. poohpity says:

    Didn’t Jonah already see the bigger picture before the plant, since it was the reason he ran away at the beginning of his adventure.

  6. poohpity says:

    I have been confronted with showing mercy to a doctor who inappropriately did something sexual to me during a needle biopsy I had at the end of Nov.. It is a long story but a detective loaned me a recorder to record a conversation between the doctor and me and after the 20 min conversation I found I did not have the recorder on the right way. I was devastated last night when this happened and then everything this morning in my devotions was God reassuring me to just hold on and remembering all the things I have done that I was forgiven for.

    It seemed to me that God was showing this doc mercy when I want him to be caught for what he did. I am just really have a hard time with this. When the doc asked me last night what could he do to take care of this my reply was to admit to what he did, get help and never do it to another patient again. That is not however what is in my heart, my heart wants him to be put in jail and hung my his ____. Please pray for the doc and me. Thank you. I feel with the police that I am being treated like the perpetrator rather than the victim, it is tearing me up inside.

  7. joycemb says:

    Tracey and Maru’s thoughts about Jonah and others’ make me think of Jesus’ words to forgive 70×7 times in a day if your enemy sins against you. Not easy to do I know. My thought is am I being “sent” into a bad situation or am I being stupid enough to keep placing myself in a certain situation that I know is going to turn out badly? Was Jonah fearing for his life being sent by God to pronounce judgement on theses horrible and ruthlessly evil people? Seems as though it would take an amazing amount of trust in God to do it fearlessly. Yet faith makes all things possible, doesn’t it. Just some thoughts.

    Prayers for all this fine wintry morning.

    (I’m not a germaphobe but love knowing that all small critters are being killed off with the ice cold temps.)

  8. street says:

    poo said,”Didn’t Jonah already see the bigger picture before the plant, since it was the reason he ran away at the beginning of his adventure.”

    tracey said,”So, from Jonah’s words, we can see that Jonah knows God.”

    been thinking jonah did not know himself or forgot what he was like and the gifts he has received that he did not deserve.

    in Revelation we are told more than once to hold onto what we have.

    i am also thinking that you can not give what you have not received or posses.

  9. joycemb says:

    “Cannot give what you have not received or possess”. Street that is so right. “Hold fast!” Takes effort from both us and Gods faithfulness. The part about the plant is stunning as to how God is willing to work with us as we “work out” our salvation. Stunning.

  10. street says:

    I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

    i am wondering if jonah wants to die because in his mind justice has not been served. he does not know the fearfull price that is payed to redeem sinners. he understands graciousness love and mercy, but did not see they were available to all and that bothered him. it violated his sense of justice. in a way job had the same difficulty of understanding justice, but it was reversed for him. the innocent suffering. he wanted to die too, but not before he spoke his mind. in essences these two men talked to God and He spoke to them, an amazing thing i think should be the norm, and through their encounter could speak correctly about Him, before it was a struggle.

    searching for a heart of gold? the search is finished in Christ Jesus. He said it is finished. it really is.

  11. street says:

    remembering a parable about a guy who would not forgive another for a couple of days wages even though he was forgiven several lifetimes of wages. the outcome is very difficult to comprehend. grace and mercy are supreme and to be shared with all.

    a thought that is difficult to grasp, thought He slay me i will bless His name.

    God your name is Wonder-Full.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Having a short rest between things. It has snowed all day, but only reached a couple inches so far. One minute a patch of sky the next a full on white out, winter has finally showed up.

    I am laughing Mart at your picture of the jackass, as sometimes I can be one also.

    There are many stories in the Bible that stump me and one is always why would anyone think they could run away from God?

    David said in the Psalms that if you go to the highest parts of heaven or the lowest part of hell God is there. He is everywhere His creation is.

    Why did Jonah try to run away? Honestly anything I could say without quoting Scripture of the matter is pure conjecture on my part. I could be right, I could be wrong, I could be a little of both, but it will remain conjecture.

    Simply stated he did not want to do what God had told him to do, so he tried to run from his duty, but God created a miracle to force him to obey.

    He sulked about it, God created another miracle to show him the err of his ways .

    In doing so we learn about God, God used Jonah to showcase God, not Jonah.

    Never been around too many camels, but Glenna has during her time spent in Saudi Arabia, they too can be a lot like a jackass.

    Be at peace and trust that God is in control.


  13. street says:

    steve said,”…one is always why would anyone think they could run away from God?”

    thinking we got away with other things worthy of death why not this too?
    we are not bright bulbs that we think we are. God is light and in Him there is no darkness. was reading Revelation 1 and Jesus eyes where flaming fire. light in Him and His face shined like the sun in it’s fullness.

    steve you are lol at my pic. mart has used it at least 3 times.

  14. poohpity says:

    I just think it is totally awesome that God spends enough time with us so that we could get to know Him so well but sadly many do not spend the time doing so. God showed the sailors grace and mercy then went on to save the life of Jonah from drowning after Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard. Was there another way? Could Jonah have just prayed his prayer from the hull of the ship rather than going to such get lengths even unto death to not share God’s message? Possibly.

    The very term prophet of God means appointed by the God of all creation to share messages from Him. Wow to be chosen to deliver messages from God and especially the message that God cares so much for all peoples. We have that same privilege of sharing the “Good News” so do we or do we run the other direction by saying nothing?

  15. poohpity says:

    It is a blessing to share but God does not force us to if we want to keep it all to ourselves, to be selfish with the wonderful news that God wants people to know Him.

  16. poohpity says:

    When Jesus gave the great commission wasn’t that for all God’s people to share? So does one only talk with other believers and never with those who need to hear the good news? Maybe we have more in common with Jonah than we think. Would one even know if God was speaking to you to tell you to go? Do you know Him well enough to recognize His voice? Is God confident enough with your relationship with Him to know that you will go where He sends you?

  17. street says:

    poo said,”Is God confident enough with your relationship with Him to know that you will go where He sends you?”

    thinking He already knows….like jonah, we are just brought up to conform to the image of His Son.

    i can not think of anything better. i am always amazed at Jesus like the apostles and jonah.

    been thinking about the word reconciled…like balancing a check book with outstanding checks. we were reconciled while we were still enemies. and God’s books are balanced. staggering. now instead of inventing new ways to sin we look for new ways to pleased the One Who loved us so much. forgiven much, love much. forgiven little, love little.

  18. cbrown says:

    Pooh,One thing Jonah could have done was to Tell the ships Captain to turn the boat around and sail in the direction of Niniveh.

  19. jeff1 says:

    A quote from Mother Theresa: “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

    We are all unique in that we react differently to circumstances because as individuals we see them differently.

    I have often jaded my perception of God by listening to others when I should have been listening to Him.

    I hopefully learn from my mistakes but history does repeat itself so before I get on my high horse and judge another I will examine myself and remind myself that God wants me grounded so that I am of use to him and heaven is my reward for remaining faithful.

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking about the lottery being over 1 billion dollars, one billion that is $1,000,000,000.00 dollars.

    I haven’t bought a ticket and aren’t going to, I would not want that kind of attention on me and my family.

    Thinking though who would I not want to win the lottery? Truth is I don’t care, but in following with our subject if there were someone who I actually did not want to see win and God told me to go and buy a ticket and give that ticket to that person I might feel a little displeased that God has chosen to *bless* someone I don’t like. Maybe because they have done some kind of wrongs to me, maybe live an amoral lifestyle and seem the last person on earth deserving of winning. Yet God insists on it being me that buys the ticket and then gives it away to that particular person.

    I might then begin to understand how perhaps Jonah felt.

    However to try and run away from my responsibility to obey God could only be accomplished by refusing to listen to Him.

    Refusing to listen to God intentionally begins to sound dangerously familiar to the warning of the one sin that is said to be unforgivable.

    If God though did not want me to slip into such dangerous waters He might then also do all He can in order to make me listen and obey.

    When God has a grip on us we can’t run too fast or too far from His love.

    4 inches of snow and 03 degrees Fahrenheit.


  21. poohpity says:

    Do any of us really deserve any blessing that God grants us especially in sending His son to such a rebellious lot as the human race is? I have not even met one yet and that includes people like Mother Theresa. She would be one of the first to admit to that along with any others that truly know and follow the Lord. If grace and mercy could be earned then it would not be grace and mercy, it would be wages.

  22. poohpity says:

    There are not many even those who say they follow the Lord that are willing to do the will of God. Like what God said about David, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ Because David knew that God’s ways and will are better and good for everyone involved.

  23. poohpity says:

    God asked His prophets to do many things that seemed strange to me; Hosea to marry an unfaithful wife, Ezekiel to lay in the street naked for 390 days on one side then another 40 on the other and cook over human dung which he asked God is he could use cow dung instead, Jeremiah got totally persecuted for telling the Kings of Israel what God told him to tell them thrown into jail and a cistern but the one thing they all had in common was God knew their hearts and even though they were not perfect by any means they wanted to do God’s will. They were not forced they desired to do it. I bet they thought about running from doing what God wanted them to do.

    Look at Paul and all that he suffered for doing the will of God. He did not boast about how spirit filled he was but all the things he suffered in service to the Lord. (2 Cor 11:24-27) But dying to self in order to live for Christ seemed to be foremost in all their minds and hearts.

    Jonah teaches me that even though there are times I make a choice not to do the things God has laid before me to do I get another chance and another chance. For that I am so very grateful but God does know a person’s heart and whether they will ever want to used, it seems if not then He will not even bother to ask them to do anything.

  24. street says:

    but He did ask us to do something…“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

    “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

  25. joycemb says:

    I think God is far beyond human reasoning and enjoys surprising us.

  26. jeff1 says:

    I can only know how God works in me, but how God works in someone else is a mystery and speculative for I cannot see another’s heart.

    My heart is not always in a good place with God, but like our biblical forefathers, God turns up in my heart when it is responsive. He knows I am not perfect so I don’t believe God is angry when I am not always responsive but gives me time to mellow for time is on God’s side not mine.

    As you say Joyce we cannot truly understand God because His ways are so much purer than ours. I look to God because I know I am miserable without Him which in itself says I will never be fully satisfied until I am one with God.

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Here’s the thing, Jonah was an accredited prophet, and a prophet by definition speaks for God.

    However God also spoke to Jonah and instructed him as to where to go and what to say.

    Who among our little group here has actually heard God tell them where to go and what to do when they get there?

    I have heard God speak, but on both occasions one was a rebuke and the other prophetic encouragement.

    I have had dreams where what I have to attribute the matter to God speaking to me, but I for one have never heard God say, go here do this.

    On the contrary, what I have learned is that after I look back across my life I can see where God guided me towards where I am and doing what He wanted of me.

    One thing I also have learned is that you can do nothing specific for God unless you are empowered by Him to accomplish the task, you must have the anointing.

    You can have the desire and even attempt to go on thinking that you are doing the will of God, but unless He has called you, anointed you and empowered you, you will fail.

    I stumbled upon a TV preacher in the last few weeks, whom I will not name, that is selling a series on how to find God’s will for your life. It upset me right away that he is trying to sell what God liberally gives to all who ask of Him.

    Surrender your will to God’s and you will find peace being where He wants you to be, and maybe it is right where you are after all.

    Want to talk with God? Go to Him in prayer and read what He has had to say in the Scripture, He will speak to you and the Holy Spirit in you will identify Him as the speaker and lead you into all truth.

    It managed to get to 14 degrees today, tomorrow will be warmer. I fed the critters twice as much today.


  28. street says:

    “Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
    When its young cry to God
    And wander about without food?…

    Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

  29. street says:

    joycemb said,”I think God is far beyond human reasoning and enjoys surprising us.”

    i think you are correct on both counts joyce, 1) we can not reason correctly, 2) it is a total and complete surprise that he loves people that are so unlovable.

    it does benefit us immensely when we come to Truth.
    it can hurt, but oh how it saves.

  30. poohpity says:

    God knows those who are willing and open to listen and do.

  31. jeff1 says:

    I believe that the reason I find it hard to believe God loves me, warts and all, is that it is very difficult to find another human being who will. They are most likely going to be your parents.

    Good parents do love their children unconditionally and that is the nearest a human being gets to understanding God’s love.

    Christianity, has a whole, has failed to reflect God’s love in Society today, for that particular reason, it is so hard to understand.

    It will take God’s power released among His people before the world will witness this kind of love, in my opinion.

    To some extent I believe the world has only glimpsed God in small ways but the best is yet to come!

  32. SFDBWV says:

    All Christians everywhere are instructed to go into the world and spread the Gospel.

    We are told to do this by reading the Scripture as well as hearing it read to us.

    We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel as in telling others about it. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given in order to empower us to further that goal.

    Not all have the same gifts, but all comprise the body of Christ.

    We are given instruction as how to live a holy life as an example to others, again from the Scripture, with the urging of the Holy Spirit. For many simply living the holy life is the only empowerment they possess in order to “spread the Gospel” message of Salvation.

    If God wants anything special from you, He will make it happen and you will be caught up in it in obedience and just like the jackass be used for His purpose when the time is needed.

    27 degrees and amazingly still dark outside. : )


  33. poohpity says:

    With that kind of thinking it is not surprising one does not hear from God.

    God has not changed He interacts with people in many of same ways today but it seems the noise often drowns out His voice. People are to busy trying to act holy when our holiness, righteousness comes from the Lord living within us. God still speaks to any who are willing to be still and listen.

  34. poohpity says:

    Maybe the more important way to look at it Viv, is do you accept people warts and all?

  35. cbrown says:

    So Pooh even though there is no evidence that Jonah repented of his sin you hold him up as righteous? God spoke to him and what did he do?God sees the heart.

  36. jeff1 says:

    We live in two very Christian worlds Steve for while I was brought up in a religion I was not instructed to read the bible nor preach the gospel. I was taught how sinful I was and how I needed to keep the 10 commandments.

    I call myself a Christian in that I am a believer but would see myself fall very short of being a follower. My faith is in what Christ has done for me and I take that literally in that I am saved from my own sins because that is what I was taught.

    What you are taught from a child to my mind is difficult to change,for while I now know I cannot keep the commandments perfectly, as I tried to as a child, I still use them as my guide to living life.

    Likewise in my Country those who where taught to hate from the where children continue it into adulthood and so the cycle of hate not only continues in this generation but is passed to the next.

    It was difficulties in life that drew me to God and I have been going to him ever since. To my way of thinking it is Christians who must take responsibility for any confusion over God’s Character.

    To begin with I was taught that the gospel was about Christ and to stay focused on Him. It is my opinion that it was Christians taking their focus off Christ that has caused the confusion in Christianity. All denominations are united in Christ for we are all saved by the blood of Christ.

    Religions are more interested in proving whose doctrine is right than focusing on Christ and that this is causing more division among Christians. If it’s not broken we don’t need to fix it, but Christianity is fragmented and if we don’t get back to basics then we are failing to put Christ before doctrine and when non-believers see that they will not take us seriously.

    If we made more of an effort to imitate Christ instead of arguing over doctrine then non believers might actually take us at our word for in the end actions speak louder.

  37. poohpity says:

    Did I hold Jonah up as righteous? Help me remember when I said anything like that. Wasn’t Jonah’s prayer evidence of repentance(turning back to God)?

  38. poohpity says:

    It would seem more often than not that following Christ or Christianity becomes fragmented because it is fragmented people who follow Christ. Expecting or holding other Christians to such high expectations we will always be disappointed. I think that becomes more evident when we gaze into our own hearts rather than looking at others, seeing how often we fall short then we do not expect anything less from others and become abundantly grateful for the grace we have been shown.

    There are several good things about donkeys to look at, they can carry heavy loads, they are sure footed, it does not cost a lot to care for them. Sure at times they can be stubborn and rebellious but they are very useful.

  39. cbrown says:

    Pooh, no it was not. As evidence of his heart when he was sitting under the plant.Did Jesus accept everyone “warts and all”? No, he did not.The scribes and pharisees he did not accept because they knew who God was but sought their own kingdom.Viv, you can take your eyes off Christ by looking at denominations for your salvation. Big mistake.

  40. jeff1 says:

    I live in a Country where Christians kill other Christians so I do not have high expectations of them I just do not believe in killing my fellow man because he has a different religion.
    When it comes to relationsips, I have discovered that there has to be give and take for it to work, and if there isn’t, then it does not.

    Often the difficulties in this life is that there are those who will take, take, take while others give, give, give and never the twain shall meet.

  41. street says:

    jeff said,”I believe that the reason I find it hard to believe God loves me, warts and all,..”

    i think the same way…the difficulty is cling to Him and not the warts and all…He does remove the the warts and all as far as the east is from the west.

  42. street says:

    jeff said,”I believe that the reason I find it hard to believe God loves me, warts and all, is that it is very difficult to find another human being who will.”

    looking for love in another human being is a futile exercise because it is self centered. even we question God’s love, which we know is true, when we are self centered. we are commanded to love. God said let there be light, and there was. i wonder if love is just getting to know God.

    there was some blogging about getting into another business that they believe was wrong or not completely right. a priest job is to get the individual back on the right path and not getting contaminated in the process. we get contaminated and disqualified a lot. i would venture every time on our own. a self centered person is easy to deny. much harder in ourselves.

  43. poohpity says:

    Chris, you do not think Jonah’s prayer was done in repentance? Then who exactly was he praying to? The only thing I see under the plant was a very angry selfish man more concerned with himself than thousands of other people but God did not give up on teaching him and still thought Jonah was worth the effort to continue to guide him.

    When we want people to accept us warts and all, then if we go on “treat others they way you want to be treated” then it would follow we have to accept them also warts and all however we do not have to accept what they do, there is a big difference. Jesus accepted people warts and all but the Pharisees, etc. did not accept Jesus nor believe Him, nor even recognized who He was even though they said they followed God. So it would then follow if they(Pharisees) really knew God then they would have known Jesus.

    I have repented but there continues to be times when I must do it again. Jonah was not perfect nor is anyone else, only One fit that bill. I want to admit to God when I mess up that keeps one humble never thinking more highly of oneself than they ought to. The Pharisees on the other hand thought so highly of themselves they looked down on others and failed to recognize God as He stood in their midst.

    Awww come on Chris you had to know this stuff and if not what do you teach in the prisons? That gives me cause for concern.

  44. cbrown says:

    Your last paragraph Pooh is what is called ‘poisoning the well.”

  45. joycemb says:

    Street said
    -I wonder if love is just getting to know God.

    Street I think you are on to something, thanks. Makes me think of do we love ourselves and our own doctrine of what we think we know about God, not unlike Jonah, or do we really know Him? He’s the one to run after. Thinking how did Jonah know God was merciful and gracious? What he was taught? Probably. Yet the personal encounter turned out to be more than Jonah could bear. I think we are all like Jonah at one time or another. But God is greater! He knows us inside and out. And He is good. Just like a Jonah said He is.

  46. joycemb says:

    “Poisoning the well”. Thanks Chris now I have a term for what happens here frequently, poison is a good descriptor. Not good but apt.

  47. phpatato says:

    Viv, if Christians kill other Christians then they really aren’t a Christian in my mind, they are people killing people.

    I believe people define the word Christian wrong. I believe they fail to see Christ as the root word for Christian. They make the mistake of putting doctrine “ian” before “Christ” and they are so blinded by doctrine they can’t see their folly. To be a Christian, as I believe, means one is truly desiring to be a follower of Christ; to become a disciple of Christ. To do that, they must first become “born again” – John 3:3. When they become born again, or born twice, the Holy Spirit enters into the heart and soul to begin a personal relationship with the person – Rev 3:20. To open the door of your heart means to literally, verbally ask Jesus Christ to walk through the door of your heart – Romans 10:9 -hence what they call the “sinners prayer”. Once that prayer is recited, they become a Christian; they are considered by Christ to be a disciple for Him, and there is a cost to becoming a disciple – Luke 14:25-33.

    The cost simply put is this:

    *Jesus Christ must be Master above those nearest and dearest to his disciple.
    *The disciple of the Lord Jesus must value following Jesus Christ above life itself.
    *The disciple of Jesus Christ must place his commitment to Christ above material possessions.
    *The disciple of Jesus Christ must daily die to self-interest.

    But the rewards of becoming a disciple far outweigh the cost:

    **We must all have a master, and none is more gentle than the Saviour. The Scriptures make it clear that we are the slaves of whatever it is that controls us (Romans 6:16). Some are the slaves of the body and its appetites. Others submit to a religious system. Ultimately, if we are not the servants of Jesus Christ we are slaves to sin and to Satan.
    **Although the demands of discipleship are great, He never requires of us anything which He does not enable us to do. – So yes Steve, you are correct with what you said this morning “If God wants anything special from you, He will make it happen”.
    ** It is only to His disciples that our Lord reveals His innermost thoughts and most intimate secrets. Mark 4:11
    **Our rewards as disciples are based not on the magnitude of our actions, but on their motive. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
    ** Our greatest reward is Jesus Himself.
    **There is nothing which the Lord denies His disciple which is for his ultimate good, and nothing which He takes away which He does not replace with something better. Psalm 84:11

    All of that I will say for this….it seems to me that becoming a true disciple of Christ is a life-long journey. It takes a lot of discipline and it will never be perfected. It is a daily struggle and it will have us falling flat on our faces several times a day. But with His help, His love, His mercy, His strength, we can get up and plod on. And may we never cheapen this journey to hide behind what as Joyce says…”Cheap Grace”. It takes a full resolve and a serious commitment. It is not ever cheap. There was a great price paid for us to become disciples and that price was costly. God gave us His only begotten Son to hang on a cross when it should be us.

    Note – the Cost of Discipleship was taken from Bible.org. I happen to agree with it, and as “Bill” would have said…your mileage may vary.

  48. street says:

    Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  49. street says:

    God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us

    thinking some more…it is written, God is love and He is light. if we do not love and walk in the light can we honestly say we know Him? thank you God for sufferings and grace. He really knows how to raise children. it gets real interesting when He is making a bride or a nation or anything else for that matter. fearfully and wonderfully made.

  50. joycemb says:

    Thinking of Jonah, another blogger pointed out that Jonah confessed his sin to the sailors. I hadn’t noticed that, yet it is true and so important in our walk with God that we do that. “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”. This is not speaking of just our sin nature but our ongoing sins against our brothers and sisters in Christ. Confession keeps us humble, if we have the witness of the Holy Spirit within. If we do not then repentence is vital to begin the life flow of God and all He is within us and flowing out to others.

    Jonah reluctantly did as God led him to do and all were saved, yet, eventually they were destroyed. Repentance and change does not guarantee the good life as we know it. Ask anyone who’s been persecuted for their faith. Or anyone who refuses to change and thinks they can slide Home on grace alone.

    Jonah is a complex and interesting figure.

  51. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends —

    On the topic “Why Jonah Ran” you make this comment, Mart:

    “As it turns out he didn’t run in the opposite direction for fear of what terrorists would do to him.”

    As the Scripture says, Jonah ran because he did not want to be the messenger of God’s mercy to so cruel a nation, God being:

    “…a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

    It seems to me the grudge Jonah is carrying around is a heavy load indeed. Assyrian armies have besieged and starved and deported his people. He is not about to forgive them. Yet, he does accept God’s consequences and he does repent and go obediently to Nineveh.

    As you say Mart, the Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) because it is good to ponder God’s forgiveness of the people of Nineveh — and God’s forgiveness and faithfulness to Jonah. This merciful God may even forgive us of our stubborn waywardness.

    How much more mercy and forgiveness is shown to rebellious and unbelieving Gentiles in our own day — that is, on this side of the cross of Christ’s sacrifice?

    Isn’t Jesus the answer to what is going on in the very same geographical location that Jonah trod right this minute?

    Grace and Peace,

    43F and cloudy here today.

  52. SFDBWV says:

    So many good comments today I hesitate to name names by fear of omitting someone and inadvertently hurting anyone’s feelings.

    I will say Pat you have spoken well, and Chris you have used a term I hadn’t heard for a long time, akin to strife and the quenching of the Holy Spirit.

    Viv I had thought about my response to your thoughts as I went about my duties today and do want to say a few things if I may.

    Yes Viv we are from very different circumstances, but not all that too far.

    The America’s were populated by people who fled religious persecution. And not just the USA. The religious connection to politics and more accurately to power mongers have used religion to bully people for a long time.

    I once told you my mother’s mother’s family came from Ireland and Scotland. They were called “Scotch-Irish” for their protestant affiliation, they came to America seeking the freedom to be what they wanted to be.

    But it wasn’t just about their generation. The name of the town I live in is Bayard. Bayard is a region in Normandy France and the namesake of this town’s family came to America because they were “French Huguenot’s”, French Protestants persecuted by a French King.

    I am situated in the midst of a great deal of American history, and one being the American Civil War. Nearly everything around me here was influenced because of that war between brothers.

    I am fairly sure you are not familiar with the movie “Gettysburg” but it is about the decisive battle of the American Civil War, fought not all that far from here. In one of the many moving scenes of the movie there is a conversation between Colonel Joshua Chamberlain of the Union Army and his top sergeant, an Irish immigrant in the Union Army.

    Chamberlain says that his mother had said that all men were equal in God’s eyes and we could see God in their eyes in what she called “the divine spark.”

    The sergeant’s response was, “where is that divine spark when you see them hang one another”?

    I am sad that you live in a place still filled with ancient political hatred. You may not be able to run away as have so many, but you can be a beacon of light in a very dark place, as is what I have gathered your father to have been.

    I am not going to lecture you on reading the Bible, you do what you see fit in having your relationship with Christ, but you are missing out on a lot by not reading it for yourself.

    Be at peace my Irish friend.


  53. poohpity says:

    Chris sad you think my concern is poisonous. Aren’t we to hold each other accountable for what we teach or are being taught? By the way if one throws poison in a dry well no harm done. If one can not bear up under pressure when asked about our beliefs and hope by a brother or sister in Christ what will the reaction be to a non-believer when they ask us questions?

  54. jeff1 says:

    I think you are simplying what is not simplistic Pat.
    I refer to myself as a Christian because I was taught that I was one. I was baptised and confirmed into a Church that taught me about Jesus or I would not have known of Him.

    The Church that taught me may not be perfect but I can assure you that I received no wrong teaching from it or I would not still be a member.

    Any wrong teaching came from other denominations, for it is my own Church that keeps me grounded and looking to Jesus for guidance.

    That is what I like about my Church while others have become judgemental towards people who have wandered from the faith, it remains grounded in Christ’s teaching which is, “there but for the grace of God go I”.

    I have no idea what lies ahead of me in this life and those who tell me they do, have been dabbling in the spiritual world where our Lord warned us not to go.

    Whether we like it or not this world has been contaminated by demonic forces and sadly that has been brought about by false teaching throughout.

    The Church of Christ has yet to be established on earth and until that happens no one has gotten the truth.
    We have multi cultured Societies throughout the world and as one culture’s beliefs seeps into another culture’s beliefs so too does their religious beliefs. People from different faiths marry and Children are being taught and sometimes confused with different doctrines.

    Until Jesus’s Church is established that situation can only get worse for there is a falling away from our Churches and that is down to false teaching throughout the world and it is not God who is getting it wrong but man.

    If it is the responsibility of Christians of which I claim I am, then it is partly my failure in getting the message of God’s Salvation to those who are rejecting it for we are His representatives on earth.

    When Jesus looks down from heaven today and sees so many confused and turning away, will he be saying, well done, my faithful servant or will he be saying, you looked out for yourself but many of my sheep are still wandering and you as my followers have been too busy arguing over who’s right to even notice what is going on around you.

    Oh yes, we see what we want to see and we hear what we want to hear but that does not make it the ‘TRUTH’ ‘THE WHOLE TRUTH’ ‘AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH’ SO HELP ME GOD’.

  55. phpatato says:

    Pooh against my better judgement I will point this out…..

    “By the way if one throws poison in a dry well no harm done”.

    There IS a ripple effect in every action done. Dry well or not. And because it is poison you are throwing around, the harm done may be catastrophic. So, if you don’t care that your poison causes harm or that you will be held accountable and will have to answer for the damage done, there isn’t much more to say except…

    Nah, forget it.

  56. phpatato says:

    Viv, I mean you no harm, but yes, I simplified it because Jesus Christ and God both simplified it. I provided Bible verses taken from God’s Holy Word to back up what I said. It isn’t me who said those verses. I’m sorry to have caused you any upset but I stand behind the verses I posted and what they say and mean.

    I’m sorry you took offense.

  57. poohpity says:

    Pat, if throwing around the truth in the bible not my message but what is taught from God’s Word is poison or accused of being poison then I am guilty. I did not throw any poison around if you will reread what was written. Chris called it poison that does not mean it actually was but that is how he consumed it as if it were rather than searching the scripture to find out if maybe he did not understand something or even to ask God about it. There was no harm meant at all. I would repeat what I said but what good would it do, that was his perception not what it actually was. If it is poison to someone then go to a different well and do not read it but for those who wish to dig deeper into scripture it was nourishment for those who want to learn more.

  58. poohpity says:

    Actually what Chris said @ 10:50am was poisonous and not true.

  59. joycemb says:

    I read what Chris said to Pooh, he said “Your last paragraph Pooh is what is called ‘poisoning the well.” Once again you are changing the topic to what, avoid self-examination? Or? Search your own heart before you accuse. Your ‘concern’ as you call it may seem so to you, however to me it is arrogant and mean spirited. That’s how your ‘concern’ has always made me feel as I’ve told you in private even. Perhaps you can’t see it, we are often blinded to our worst features, but if a few people are saying the same thing about you don’t you think it’s worthy of at least prayerful consideration?

  60. phpatato says:


    “Pat, if throwing around the truth in the bible not my message but what is taught from God’s Word is poison or accused of being poison then I am guilty.”

    What are you talking about???? Lots of words, no thought process. Your words to Chris were poison, and they had nothing to do with the “truth in the Bible”. Furthermore, you even admitted they were poison or you wouldn’t have said “By the way if one throws poison in a dry well no harm done”.

    When will you take ownership of your nasty words and behaviour??? Admit to some of them at least and say SORRY, please. I have been around here for a long time and I have NEVER heard you utter the word sorry to anyone you’ve hurt, except to suck hole around Mart now and then! Surely you aren’t that blind or deluded to think that you can sit back and say, I have nothing to be sorry about. You have caused havoc and harm AGAIN and not just today but all week. That ripple effect is gonna chew you up and spit you out someday.

    You certainly bring the worst out in me…and many others in this blog room, I’m sure. Enjoyment is short-lived when you are in the house. I just want you to know that. Sister in Christ my eye. What sister would treat her “family” the way you do.

    Sorry everyone. I meant what I said…she brings the worst out in me and it hurts me that she is so vile toward, well I think she has been nasty to everyone in here at one time or another and another. She can’t be allowed to post such unpleasantness and get away with it. And yes, I realize that I have just sunk to her level by posting what I did. :-(

  61. cbrown says:

    From time to time I go back read prior posts.Each time I do I see something different. In my post at 10:50 to Viv I meant to say do not look at denominations look at fruit. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Joni Eareckson Tada have produced good fruit.

  62. joycemb says:

    Speaking of fruit:
    Heb 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

  63. foreverblessed says:

    In times like this, when there is unrest in the blog, I have to focus my eyes on Jesus more then other times. Our life is all sufficiënt when we are focus on Him, He has all we need.

    And with that I mean, we do not see everything clear, not yet, but… If we find that someone is seeing it wrong, like Pooh thinks Chris is seeing it wrong, wait…
    If Chris has his eyes on Jesus, I know he has, Jesus will instruct him sometime, and set it right.

    But we want to set it right instantly, we, and I am one of them too, as christians cannot say,
    o well, this will sort out in time.

    No, there we go…
    Setting it straight, we think.
    Where is it, us going to Jesus, conversing with Him, waiting for answers, and most of all for peace to flow in our hearts before we post?
    Wait for the peace….

    Like I now believe God loves Jonah dearly, even there sitting under the vine. God still instructs him.
    And God loves the pharasees deerly too, even if Jesus spoke harsh words. God looks out for them to embrace them in His arms.

  64. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Jeff, Jesus might say:
    You are all to busy arguing what is the Truth, then seeing around you.
    “Look to Me and be saved”
    Is still a Truth for me every day!

  65. SFDBWV says:

    Have I learned anything new about Jonah after weeks of discussing his Scripture story?

    Jonah is considered “the reluctant prophet”, by all Biblical scholars. Perhaps that is enough said concerning him, perhaps not.

    Some of us may sympathize with his reasons for reluctance, but none of us are Jonah.

    Have I learned anything new about God in the story of Jonah? No, but I have seen the theme of mercy and compassion once again demonstrated as God’s intent toward mankind, with a twist that there is a day of reckoning coming.

    In thinking about my own misadventures in life, I have to say that I never ran away from God intentionally, but just decided not to be concerned about Him as I went on my own journey of learning why I needed Him and needed to pay attention to His urgings.

    We all have spent time in the belly of the beast, but not all of us have had the good sense to pray for deliverance from it, still God already had a plan to deliver us even in our ignorance.

    One of the toughest things for us to do is be content, yet god offers us contentment through Him.

    Jonah was buried in the area of Iraq where he was remembered as being a prophet of God. Maybe he found contentment living there instead of returning to a wayward Israel among those who had shown respect for God and were given a reprieve from judgement. Maybe, as some thought, he killed himself out of anger over God’s choices. Nothing in Scripture gives us insight.

    Perhaps the reason being so we can look inside of ourselves and conclude the life of Jonah from our own essence, exposing a part of ourselves we may not have recognized in us at all.

    I thank God that He is willing to forgive and has made a way for me to find it.


  66. bubbles says:

    A educational channel, I guess it shouldn’t be mentioned, streamed a documentary about the hanging gardens of Babylon. They said they weren’t in Bablyon but in Nineveh, if memory is correct. . . could be wrong. If it is wrong, this documentary spoke of Nineveh and took cameras to where it was. This place was enormous.

  67. jeff1 says:

    With all due respect, I believe that Salvation is a gift to all believers, but the reason I do not class myself a follower is that I believe it is a higher calling.

    I class myself as a Christian by my beliefs and not by my actions for I believe my foolishness and waywardness has disqualified me as a follower.

    For me to class myself as a follower would discredit others, I am thinking of men like my father who was not just a believer but obedient. He put his own personal feelings after His obedience,and I know there are many like him in the world today, but I do not know them personally, and since I did not meet too many in my lifetime I expect they are rare these days as they where in biblical times.

    God chooses those whom He can mould to his image, and that leaves him with soft hearted people, whom very often are not even followers, for too often these days his believers/followers have become hard hearted not just to fellow christians but to non believers.

    God works in mysterious ways because His believers/followers leave him with little options. I have not taken offence from your post cbrown but I do not agree that christians who kill christians are just killers who kill killers and that you are simplyfing that which is not simple.

    My country is very much an example that christians do kill christians and what about those in the bible whom God used yet they were murderers.

    It is easy for me to understand why christians kill other christians, in my own Country, for I personally got caught up in the violence and the hatred of it.

    It is also the reason I struggled so much with God because I had been taught that what I was feeling was wrong but I can tell you this from the lessons I have learned and that is that hate can be as powerful emotion as love and not surprising it is a fine line that divides them.

    I have to learn from my mistakes as you have yours because we have different weaknesses and that is why God has to teach us differently.

    It is not for me to be critical of another’s weaknesses but to encourage and if I cannot do that then at the very least keep my mouth shut and allow God to work in that person.

    The tongue remains the deadliest weapon in the war of words which we all use too readily when we do not like what we are being told.

    My earthly father held his tongue and put his brain into gear before his mouth and now I realise the wisdom of my father was God given. God rest him, it has taken me a lifetime to appreciate that I was so very blessed to have him as an earthly father for his actions always spoke louder than his words. The world would be a better place if there were more like him.

  68. cbrown says:

    Viv, your father was “a doer of the Word and not just a hearer.”The world is a better place because of men and women like him who have faith in God and have accepted His salvation.

  69. poohpity says:

    It seems like Assyria attacked and captured the people of Israel approximately between 30-50 years after Jonah went to them.

    God seems to have shown grace and mercy to those who come to Him warts and all, it seems throughout all the history we have, still today and in the future. I do not think that God ever said get rid of your warts and all then come to me. Any Pharisee that came to Jesus it seems He did not turn away either such as Nicodemus and Paul did not come to Jesus but Jesus searched for him it seems because he knew that Saul had a heart felt desire to really know God. That seems to be the case for Jonah as well just like God knows the heart of anyone who really searches for Him.

    Anyone no matter how unlikely we think we are to do good God will use. It may not be something grand and in your face but just to touch the life of one person no matter how small we think it is, it is very important to that person and to God.

  70. poohpity says:

    If God did not seek and search out folks with warts and all then no one would have a chance to ever get to know Him. God knows who they are and will get their attention one way or another.

  71. poohpity says:

    God can also see every evil intent that lies in a person’s mind, heart and soul and seems more than willing to work with them if one allows Him too or if they just want to continue in the evil then He seems to just let them go as well.

  72. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    As you point out in you closing paragraph, Mart, this story of Jonah has the quality of capturing the imagination of many — yes, our children and grandchildren.

    The story persists and brings each one who hears it to question his/her own inner strength to act on faith. To believe our faithful response (distasteful — not what we want) will give glory to God.

    The bottom line for me this morning is that God loved my enemies so much He sent Jesus to save “whosoever” (KJV) believes in Him. We are selfish enough to think we can invite those we want into God’s kingdom, and exclude others.

    God is preparing peoples’ hearts everywhere in ways we do not perceive. Ultimately, we have no say in this. What does it take for me to accept God’s big plan — does it take a big fish? > :o)

    In view of this, it makes me smile to hear Jesus tell Peter and the other fishermen that He will make them “…fishers of men. And they immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

    Blessings all day,

  73. remarutho says:

    Experiment > > > Hope the system accepts my little fish! Maru

  74. remarutho says:

    Anyhow, three little fishes that didn’t print…Maru >-

  75. cbrown says:

    Pooh, we are in agreement. As Jonah recognized”I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.’God is Love.

  76. cbrown says:

    “I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

  77. poohpity says:

    Chris from reading your past posts I thought we were in agreement, I just got confused by those you posted earlier, because it did not seem like it. It was as if you got caught up in all the ugly which I know it is hard sometimes not to. :-)

  78. foreverblessed says:

    Great Jeff, keep beleving!
    You are very humble! At least you know not to rely on yourself!
    And that is great! From God comes everything we need, through Jesus!

    -In Jesus all Gods fulness dwells-
    Col 1:19

  79. foreverblessed says:

    For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
    And you have been given fulness in Christ, …
    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive in Christ.
    He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code,..
    Col 2:9,13,14

    Truth is God does that to me, but also to my worst enemy!
    And that is what our present study of Jonah has taught me!
    Easy to say, God is gracious, but do I still say it when I am sitting onder the vine, and waiting to see IS punished, but no..
    It is not, it repents and is pardoned!

    pPooh came very close to this Jonah moment when God wanted to pardon het offender! I have been praying for you, and the man!

  80. jeff1 says:

    For all you fishermen this is a poem from Christmas cards our church produced and I rather like it.

    The Fisherman’s Prayer

    God grant that I may live to fish
    Until my dying day
    And when it comes to my last cast
    I then most humbly pray
    When in the Lord’s safe landing net
    I’m peacefully asleep
    That in his mercy I be judged
    As good enough to keep

  81. poohpity says:

    Ohh thank you so much forever! I am walking through the forgiveness process but God showed me there will still be consequences for the doctors behavior but thank you for just noticing my request.

    Today I was watching as the Israeli’s are helping the Syrian people who once thought them enemies but are helping as they come out of the sea where they were left by those they had paid to come across the sea off the shores of Greece. Three days with no food and a hundred people in a boat that was only built for 50 set adrift. Arab speaking Jews meeting them there with medical help, food, blankets and direction as to where to go next while their own people charged them thousands of dollars just to leave them in the middle of the water without even enough gas to keep the boats going. That so touched my heart and the true sense of loving your enemies.

  82. joycemb says:

    I sometimes think it’s easier to forgive unbelievers than believers, especially when another believer doesn’t repent as Jesus describes in Luke 17: 3″Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4″And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

    Repentance is important for relationship according to Jesus. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow.

    This is truth, God’s truth, nothing ugly about it.

  83. joycemb says:

    No one should be feeling guilty about confronting another believer who fails to repent. If you do it’s not from God.

  84. poohpity says:

    Who do you think sinned and what exactly was that sin? “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Spiritual referring to someone who is living in faith and obedience who’s heart is bent on restoring a person gently to a right relationship with the Lord. This is for confronting a brother/sister in ‘sin’, that does not include someone whose behavior you feel needs modifying in some way or someone who merely irritates or annoys you. Name calling, accusations due to misconception or misunderstanding or put downs does not constitute gently that is actually destroying someone.

  85. poohpity says:

    John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:20

  86. poohpity says:

    You are so right there is nothing ugly about God’s truth but the truth according to a person’s thoughts, feelings is often very ugly and for one who says they believe there would be something missing from their relationship with the Lord not to feel some guilt which shows the Lord has convicted their heart of anger and hate which would lead to repentance since He does it gently.

  87. joycemb says:

    I feel no anger or hate toward anyone here. Another overreaction. I used to get angry, now I feel nothing, however as a part of the body of Christ I’m compelled to be an active participant. I can wait until God does His good work in others’ hearts as He is doing and has done in mine.

  88. poohpity says:

    But you eluded to someone sinning so who are you accusing and what was the sin so that person could repent per your post at 4:43pm?

  89. joycemb says:

    Jonah sure was angry wasn’t he. Not sure anger is a sin. Scripture says “Be angry, but don’t sin.” Wonder where the cutoff is? Jesus got angry but he did not sin. Could righteousness be the deciding factor? Then there’s righteous indignation. Is that sin?

    I think Christians are too often made to feel guilt about getting angry at someone or something they have a natural reaction to. God does not replace our humanness but shows us how to deal with it correctly, as you said Pooh. As He did with the plant with Jonah. Gently and quietly.

    If we could reason out things like God did with Jonah without fear of getting lambasted that would be progress.

  90. street says:

    Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

    anger is a slippery slope that leads to hell it’s self. anger lead to judgment and all judgement has been entrusted to Jesus.

    john 5:22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

  91. joycemb says:

    Then street the proper thing to do with anger that’s being continually triggered is to put distance between you and the ‘perp’ so to speak trusting they are accountable to God for there behaviors I suppose. Also, it’s very possible that the fuel for anger is there to teach us something about ourselves, that we need to let-go of trying to change someone that’s incapable of change. But God knows how to handle anyone with more grace than we can imagine!

  92. joycemb says:

    LOL at myself here! I’m sometimes a slow learner, but I finally got the lesson from Jonah! That any encounter with God is covered in His grace! Though it may be hidden for a while :-)

  93. foreverblessed says:

    The morning devotion of Spurgeon of January 11 also has something to say about Jonah:

    This is about Luke 8:13 “These have no root.”

    “Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart. Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah’s gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of his Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. “

  94. street says:

    joycemb said,”Then street the proper thing to do with anger that’s being continually triggered is to put distance between you and the ‘perp’ so to speak trusting they are accountable to God for there behaviors I suppose.”

    been thinking of “triggers” that try your soul such as anger. also thinking of Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
    just when you think it is safe the trigger gets pushed and the memories come back or the beachhead is established again. i truly believe joseph navigated these troubled waters correctly by keeping his eyes on God, whom he had to depend for a very long time.

  95. joycemb says:

    Yes street you are right. I remember years ago as a new believer struggling with my own exile from my birth family of ungodly people and thinking ‘can this be right’ ? But eventually it all turned out for good as I watched my family one by one turn to Christ. I get lonely at times and not everyone becomes the ruler of anything at all but their small space (unlike David) yet knowing God is there with us is enough. As Brother Lawrence learned we can worship God in the mundane everyday tasks of life and be pleasing to Him. I struggle with significance yet it’s good to struggle. ‘Self’ is hard to die. Yet I am glad to be forgiven and filled with hope as God is not done with me. In Him I find my significance.

  96. joycemb says:

    I meant Joseph not David but it’s the same premise.

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