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Showing posts from August, 2010

From Ninevah to Haiti

Jonah chapter 3 is a remarkable revival story. Jonah judges this god forsaken city only to find that God isn't going to forsake them after all. Their heart change is so strong & rapid, their revelation of the compassionate heart of God so discerning for a pagan people. The King himself declares, 'Who knows, God may yet relent with compassion?'
Even in their brokenness they had some hope. Jonah must have told them the story of his own disobedience & God’s second chance. We're reading between the lines here, but he surely let them in on the heart of the God who refused to write Jonah off for turning away, but instead humbled him & then invited him a second time to follow. Jesus later tells us that Jonah was a sign to them after all of how God deals with people.

So in their brokenness, they hold to some glimmer of hope & confidence in God.
What a bright light of His mercy into their heavy hearts. Like all the revival stories, how they must have hardly dared…

A faint whiff of whale vomit

Here's a little taster from Jonah for this coming Sunday. The words 'taster' & 'vomit' should never go together in the same sentance of course, but they do here & they are as hard to swallow as you can imagine!
We're in Jonah 3. This disobedient Prophet has woken up on a beach, covered in whale bile & he's had a change of heart. A change of heart which leads to a change of direction. The sat-nav has been stuck on 'turn around as soon as it's safe to do so' for as long as he can remember, but now he does make a u-turn. This is what the theologians call repentance.

He does as He's told, travelling to pagan Ninevah to deliver the message of destruction from God. Only, they're not destroyed. They're broken, they're humbled, from the King down to the cattle, but they're not burned with fire or bolts from the heavens. They may not have understood the full gospel 800 years BC but they showed a heart change which was genuin…