Orphan Annie just couldn’t get a break.
Annie is another movie my girls love that has annoying, yet catchy songs… I’ve had Hard Knock Life stuck in my head for the past two weeks while preparing a sermon about Jonah.
I like that the people in the Bible are real people like I am, real messed up people who need a second chance.
Jonah is faced with an obstacle and has two options.
Obstacle Question: Is this a problem to avoid or a mountain to climb?
He mixed the two up and ran from God by boarding a ship in the opposite direction.
God commanded him to go to the wicked city of Nineveh (responsible for atrocious deeds to the children of Israel) and preach repentance to them so the necessary and deserved judgement could be bypassed by mercy.
Jonah didn’t want the Assyrians to be saved at all, but rather than allow himself to be confronted by God, he ran away.
If you run from God you’ll always pay your own fare and never get anywhere.
What happened to his heart is what happens to us from time to time. We are confronted by the ugliness inside of ourselves and we get stuck in a bad place inside. We know we’re reacting in anger and stubbornness and we don’t really know why. We know we could do better than we are doing, but we focus on the other person we’re struggling with and blame them for why we feel the way we feel.
You’ll have to watch the sermon for the background, but the short version is that Jonah actually went to Nineveh, preached like he was on fire, and a city of 120,000 people was saved from the coming judgement.
Jonah preached to them about their hearts….
but he never preached the message to himself. Three things happened to him that happen to us and left him in a dark place inside.
1. He quit.
Sometimes you and I have had enough and all we can think of doing is leaving when we should probably stay.
2. He isolated himself.
The Bible says that when we isolate ourselves we are seeking our own desires; very dangerous and a huge perspective killer. Soon we think that everyone is against us because we become the centre of our own thoughts.
3. He became a spectator.
He leaves Nineveh and sits down in the sun to watch the judgement of God destroy 120,000 people. When church people become spectators it normally takes an extreme shock to their system to save them. If I’m honest, only a tiny percentage ever make it back from this place and only through extreme pain.
Is there a place in your life where you’ve done these things? You are on the verge of losing everything and need to do something very quickly before your heart gets too dark for the people around you.
Sometimes the path of least resistance is straight over the wall.
You can leave that relationship, you can leave that church, you can move to a different town, but the problem is you will run into the same mountain because the mountain is inside of YOU.