Relationship and Obedience – IF

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Relationship and Obedience

“The ability or inability to accept a miracle depends on whether or not one spells his God with a capital ‘G'” — Homer Hailey

The fact that there are obvious miracles recorded in the book of Jonah has caused some — who doubt or deny the miraculous power of God — to label this work as fiction. There are several miracles recorded here, but “so much has been made of the ‘fish story’ that i forget all else about the book of Jonah”. The various miracles recorded in the book of Jonah are:

  • God raising up a storm — 1:4
  • God calming the storm — 1:15
  • God’s commissioning of a great fish to swallow Jonah — 1:17
  • Jonah surviving three days & three nights inside the fish — 1:17
  • God commanding the fish to vomit Jonah out on dry land — 2:10
  • A city the size of Nineveh experiencing such a wide-spread repentance — 3:5-9
  • The Lord raising up a plant, a worm, and a scorching east wind — 4:6-8

For me the overall message of the book is twofold:

1. God’s love and concern is for me/all people, and anyone/including me who is willing to repent and turn to God can find salvation (Acts 26:19-20; II Peter 3:9).

 2. God is a universal God. There is but ONE God, and He alone is to be the God of all people. Jonah preached to people, who worshipped Nebo. He warned them and warns me that  they and i must repent and turn to Jehovah, and worship and serve Him only.

One of the lessons from the book of Jonah for me is:

  • “God’s judgments, even when declared in prophecy, can be averted by genuine repentance.” This is a “crucial theological truth relating human repentance to escaping from anticipated judgment” (New Layman’s Bible Commentary). “Jeremiah 18:7-8 — “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.”

This is a mouth full. “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; ONE MOMENT!

One: being a particular, unique, a certain

Moment: an indefinitely short period of time, instant

Might: express the possibility (This means it is not absolute… at this moment)

“At one/particular, unique, certain moment/indefinitely short period of time I might/express the possibility concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;

Thank God for the semi colon. A semicolon ( ; ) is a conventional punctuation mark with several uses, mainly for pauses in sentences and breaks in lists. The pause in this sentence is followed by an “if” which is good news for me.

If: in case that, granting or supposing that, on condition that

Relent: soften in feeling, temper, determination, become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving, become less severe, slacken:“if granting or supposing that nation/person against which I have spoken turns from its/my evil, I will relent become less severe, soften in feeling, concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.”

So if i have this straight, i can change Gods mind, understanding that it is not an entitlement but Grace?

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Comments
  1. Hisolive says:

    I think its a matter of relationship. Do I intentionally make mr e upset just so I can see him exercise love and grace? In a human to human case doing this wears relationship thin on both sides. With God, he does not wear thin but we humans still do. The well dressed lie is that the person abusing Gods grace has no consequence.

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