Monday, September 10, 2007

Meditations on Jonah

Can you see him? Sitting on the rise above the city; a yellowed plant trailing over his head. Why is he sitting out in this searing heat? Why doesn’t he come down into the city an find some shade and water. Maybe his is waiting for someone to come out to him, but it really looks like his is simply waiting.

My vine; it died suddenly this morning and now I have nothing to relieve the heat. I won’t be stopped though. I am going to sit here and wait for God to destroy this evil place. He knows they deserve it. These people have violated every law He ever gave and them some. There can be no other solution but for Him to destroy this place. I wonder if He will use fire, or a flood; perhaps He will use plagues, like He did in Egypt. I would just as soon have the ground open up and swallow the whole place up - no traces of them or their evil. They surely deserve whatever God dishes out tho them. And, I can wait, heat or not. I just want them gone. And they should be gone, destroyed, decimated, done away with; forever.
God is righteous, good, perfect and these people have only, ever crossed Him, flaunting their evil ways. I can’t imagine why He is taking so long. I did my part, telling them to repent. Fat chance of that, they were only acting. Now it is time for God to rain down fire on their heads, judge them, find them guilty. Lets wrap this thing up. That sun is hot; why did my vine have to die? It gave such great shade; cooled and comforted me yesterday. Really some things are so good to have; but they die so quickly; why is that?
What is the hold up, God? Where is the destruction you promised to those who do evil? What are you waiting for? Really my vine and its shade were wonderful. I could sure use something to shade my head.
God, where are you? Why haven’t you released your power and destroyed this city? You know how much suffering we have endured at their hands. You of all people know how they have treated us, your chosen people. I know you love us and care for us; we are your special possession. These people hardly even know you. What are you waiting for? You don’t really mean You love these people too. How could you? I really miss my vine....

How to Lose a Promise

In 1 Kings 11 God promised Jeroboam, son of Nebat, the kingship over Israel; the 10 tribes that He would take from the house of David. God also promised to be ‘with’ Jeroboam and further more to build for him “an enduring house” in the way He did for David. God said to Jeroboam, “ I will give Israel to you.” Additionally, He told him that his family would become a dynasty of rulers if they continued in the ways of the Lord.
But the promises of God did not ultimately convince Jeroboam. In 1 Kings 12:26-29 Jeroboam evidenced his doubt of God. He decided to “make an enduring house” on his own and to rule Israel in another way, outside of the commands and promises of God. He did this by crafting two golden calves as objects of worship placing one in the area of Dan, at one end of Israel, and the other in the city of Bethel, at the other end of the country. This was in order to keep the 10 tribes, those under his rule, from traveling to Jerusalem in order to worship God at the temple. Jeroboam feared the people would desert him for the king of Judah if they continued to worship in the capitol city of Jerusalem.
The Kingdom was promised to Jeroboam; 10 tribes, an enduring house like that of David, and yet he doubted the power of God and the words of God to keep this specific promise to him. He feared the people would be drawn back to the house of David if they continued to worship in Jerusalem So in order to keep what God had surely promised to him, he rejected God, and God’s ways, setting up, instead, his own way to keep the kingdom, to preserve the promise by his own power.
Doubt that God could keep His Word and fear of losing the promise led to loss of all Jeroboam tried himself to keep. What Jeroboam tried to keep, he lost. What he tried to create, he destroyed. Doubt of God led to total loss of all Jeroboam had hoped to accomplish.
God is able to keep His promises and to provide that which He has committed to do. To doubt this is to lose all, as Jeroboam learned.