Tag Archives: Hebrews 11

Responding to God’s call

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at the port city of Jaffa, Israel, and just down the street from the House of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10.32), there stands a rather modest sculpture of a whale … a tribute to Jonah.

The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. (Jonah 1.1-3, emphasis mine)

You know what happened next in Jonah’s brief trip of rebellion.

The biblical story of Jonah has stirred the imagination and hearts of people of all ages for thousands of years. Yet, near the possible location where Jonah boarded the ship to Tarshish, the enduring symbol for Jonah is that of the whale, the symbol of judgement, repentance and resurrection.

When God speaks, you must obey. To disobey is to be a Jonah: to seek your own direction, to do it your way. Disobedience is simply an attempt to escape His presence.

In what is often referred to as “The Roll Call of Faith,” Hebrews 11, there are listed many of the great biblical names of people who lived lives of faith, such as Noah, Moses, David and Samuel. One name noticeably missing, however, is Jonah. The Lord spoke to Jonah and gave him undeniably direct instructions to go and call Nineveh to repentance, yet Jonah purposely did the very opposite of what God had called him to do. It was an act of self will, the opposite of faith.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Monthly thoughts

Approaching God

Now Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law … to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. (Exodus 3.1)

Life is a wilderness. Each day presents a never-ending array of contradictions and challenges. In the wilderness you experience trouble and peace, faith and fear, joys and heartaches, comfort and suffering, living and death. The wilderness of life is unpredictable, incomprehensible, uncontrollable, yet, there you live.

And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this strange sight, why the bush is not burned up.” (Exodus 3.2-3)

In the commonplace struggle of life, Moses came to the mountain of God. It is in the wilderness of life that you come face-to-face with God. It is in the wilderness of life that God speaks to you. Your choice is quite simple: keep your eyes on surviving the daily busyness or turn your eyes to the One who seeks your attention.

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3.4)

When, in faith, you look away from yourself and look to Him, you will hear God speak. You will not hear Him speak otherwise.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Monthly thoughts