Month: April 2024

What’s Going On?

What’s Going On?

What’s Going On?


“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, ‘isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish.  I knew that you are gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:1-3 NIV

Chapter 4 of Jonah brings some big uh-ohs concerning Jonah’s behavior and attitude yet again. As we ask the question best sung by Marvin Gaye, what’s going on? But before we jump into it, let’s take a moment to reflect on the facts thus far:

  • Prophet called by God to go to Nineveh; bails from the presence of the Lord by going on ship anywhere but where he was instructed to go.
  • Caught in a dangerous storm and through the casting of lots is found guilty by the crew who was then thrown overboard and left for fish bait.
  • Swallowed up by a Great Fish, he served a sentence of three days and nights of solitary confinement.
  • He realized that salvation is the Lord’s and from that statement alone that the Lord gave the fish a command and he vomited Jonah onto dry land.
  • Jonah gets a second chance to redeem himself as he does God’s bidding, and he preaches to the people of Nineveh.
  • The preaching WORKED and the people of Nineveh REPENT!!

Now that we have the facts up to this point, we can discuss “what’s going on” with an anger prophet as we go into the fourth chapter. Can you see that old see attitude creeping back up?

Jonah was now full of displeasure, disappointment, and annoyance at not only the people of Nineveh, who were getting ready to party hardy, but God too. He could not contain his anger anymore, as he begins to sulk, mumble, and grumble. And just when we thought our prophet had learned his lesson in the belly of the great fish.

Can you see a little clearer how his story had nothing to do with the people of Nineveh, instead it had everything to do with him. Starting with his attitude. This attitude was brought on because God chose to save the people of Nineveh. And get this, since he figured God would show mercy, he went on a rampage, reminding God why he ran the opposite way in the first place. And then had the nerve to tell God to take away his life, for it is better for him to die than to live. Can you say man overboard again. Even in this situation, God was throwing him a rope. But He will not disappoint in schooling our prophet on a few things, besides there is no one better to provide this lesson than the Master Teacher Himself.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Preaching and The Response

Preaching and The Response

Preaching and The Response

“Forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” Jonah 3:4 NKJV

Our prophet was gung-ho and he loudly let the people of Nineveh know the state of their city. Having been through his own ordeal-not that they would believe his fish tale, he stayed focus on his task and on God’s message to the people.  He was doing God’s bidding and speaking, what thus says the Lord. Jonah went up and down streets speaking God’s message full of warnings.

The people responded to Jonah’s message of destruction with concern as they embraced it, hook, line, and sinker. That’s a pretty appropriate term if I do say so myself. The people of Nineveh believed God-not the second, third, or fourth time, but the first time. They responded by proclaiming  a fast, as they all put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

The words Jonah had proclaimed came to the king, who along with his people arose from his throne, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Did you know that the concept of sackcloth and ashes was a customary symbol of a public sign of repentance and humility before God? It also could represent disgrace or mourning. Sackcloth is a coarsely woven fabric, usually made of black goat hair, and it was very uncomfortable to wear. Can you say itchy. The ashes signified desolation and ruin. Everyone in that city responded with repentance, fasting, and sackcloth and ashes. It was an outward sign in response to an inside condition.

The king did not stop there friends, he proclaimed a fast and published it throughout Nineveh saying, “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not!” Jonah 3:7-9 KJV

The people of Nineveh took Jonah’s message and its charges seriously. God saw their works, as they turned from their evil ways. Their repentance moved the Lord to extend grace and mercy to them. Jonah doing the Lords bidding had PAID OFF for the people of Nineveh. This was cause for celebration don’t you think? Look at the lives saved, and the pride Jonah should have felt as a servant of God.


Second Time Around

Second Time Around

Second Time Around

“And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.” Jonah 3:1-3 KJV

Because of the grace and mercy of the Good Lord, Jonah was going to get a second chance to do Gods bidding. And this time when the Word came to Jonah’s ears he arose and went. A now obedient, air breathing, fish free smelling prophet was ready to take up his bed and not just walk but run to duty.

Let’s put a pause on Jonah for a few minutes as we talk about the phrase “take up your bed and walk.”Did you know this term represents a call to action? Let’s look at the story, there was a pool called Bethesda, it was where the blind, lame, and paralyzed would lie. Not just outward infirmities, but inwardly as well. People who were sick in their bodies and mind would lie as close to the pool as possible, waiting to get their chance at healing in the pool. The word states, that at a specific season an angel would come and trouble the water, releasing miraculous healing. 

There was a man, who had been sick a long time, he could never seem to get his chance to get into the water. But look at God, When Jesus learned that he had been in that condition for such a long time. Jesus asked him one question, He said, Do you want to get well?” This makes me so emotional, as I heard the Lord saying to me, “Jannie, my daughter, do you want get well?  The man didn’t know Jesus and went to explaining his dilemma as though he was talking to just some ordinary person. But he was in the presence of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. He said to Jesus, Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred, while I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.

 Let’s look at the concept of people waiting on an angel to release healing into the water opens up some thought. Here I see two types of power represented here: external and internal. On one hand, the miraculous healing power given to the angel by God, who is the resource to externally complete His will. And On the other hand, we see Jesus who is the source, that is all inclusive, as God on earth. 

Jesus who is both wise and powerful, speaks to the man again, this time he is not asking a question, but instead with commanding power and authority, says to him, “get up! Pick up your bed and walk.” All he had to do was just believe. How did the story end? It ended with the man taking his first step. 

As we move friends to the starting line, we do so with faith and no more excuses. A now motivated Jonah made the three day journey in one. Jonah enters the city of Nineveh.  

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down non someone is when we are helping them up.

Standing on God’s Word

Standing on God’s Word

Standing on God’s Word

“I promise that my Spirit and my words that I give you will never leave you. They will be with your children and your grandchildren. They will be with you now and forever.” Isaiah 59:21 ICB

Even with all the people in the world, its can still feel like a very lonely place. It can seem like no one understands or gets us. And that’s okay, because God does “get us” and His Word assures us we are never alone, no matter what. You know He has plenty of “rams in the bushes.” Take comfort in knowing, that God’s Word will never leave nor fail us.

The Word of God has been in existence since the beginning of time. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. No matter the season friends, it is our source of hope and comfort. Not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren. God’s Word is a necessary Holy invasion of the spiritual kind for our minds, as we respond in action through faith. Yes Lord send me, I will go!

“Lord thank you for your Word. It is our Daily Bread. Help us to stand with are feet planted firmly in your Word.  No matter what we may be going through, you are one read away. Help us to take your Word and place it in our hearts and mind. Let it move us to have courage, patience, and faith as we stand on your living Word today and everyday. Amen.”

Remember friends we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.