Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jonah, The Whale, & Iraq

Jonah, The Whale, & Iraq
March 17, 2008
Jonah 1:1-2 "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, arise and go to Nineveh, that great city..."

In the book of Jonah, we see a man, sent by God, to preach the good news to Nineveh. We all remember the story; God tells Jonah to do something, Jonah doesn't want to do it, Jonah gets swallowed by a whale, Jonah finally agrees to do what God asked him to do, and the city of Nineveh repents. It is a story of obediance to the Lord, not necessarily of what God wanted to do for the city of Nineveh. God had a purpose in His heart and He needed Jonah to do that, even if Jonah never understood why God really needed it done.

Now, I am sure if you are reading this, you probably have never been swallowed by a whale. But I am confident you have had a leading in your heart to do something the Lord asked you to do. This was a burning in your heart, compelling you to do 'whatever' it was God asked of you. You may have never completed it but you knew you were suppose to do 'this.' It may not have been an audible voice, but it was a voice inside you, urging you on, knowing full well what needed to be done and why. Or you may have done it with no reason why or even known the result of your actions. The point remains, God placed something on your heart for you to do and it was important to God that you got it completed--even if you didn't feel it was important or ever got it done.

If you follow up on Jonah's story of preaching to Nineveh, you will find that the city of Nineveh is in modern day Iraq. You will also find that Nineveh is receptive to the Lord and actually a Christian city today, despite being in the middle of a completely muslim nation, with muslim nations all around. In fact, it is one of only a few places in Iraq that accepts people of the Christian faith without seeing them killed. Nineveh is a safehouse for God's people because of Jonah's obediance to the Lord several thousand years ago. If not for Nineveh, there may not even be any Christians in Iraq, all because Jonah obeyed the Lord. Who knows, the city of Nineveh could be the key to ending all the current strife in Iraq. Wouldn't it be great if revival started in Nineveh and lead to the whole nation of Iraq turning to God! Could this have been God's plan even way back when God and Jonah were having a conversation in the belly of a whale?

1. Has the Lord placed something on your heart to do?
2. Isn't it time you obeyed the Lord and got it done?

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