I think one of the most fascinating things about the word of God, is how the literal, figurative, and time relative interpretation of the same story can inform completely different people, from completely different places, experiencing different troubles every time read. Or, even subjectively to a single individual. We forget things, we are human. And God likes to remind us to re-read his word because there are infinitely many layers to His Majesty’s glorious use of linguistics and infinite narrative omniscience – He knew how to speak to reach us all, any time any place.
How many times do you open your bible up, and it’s exactly where it needs to be?
His Rhema word is so awe ful.
The other night, I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to read Jonah, again. And so, i felt it pretty surely and went to read.
What happened was incredible, and I could apply every single part of that book to what I am going through right now.
One of the things that stood out to me most this time I read Jonah, was the fact that even though he was the only person on the boat who feared the Most High God, he was the one that was thrown off of the boat.
Not the others who knew false gods and had prayed to idols, but Jonah’s disobedience was more offensive to God than that of the unbelievers.
Because Jonah (and myself) was disobedient to God he was punished and afflicted by his own actions.
But God wouldn’t let Jonah perish for this disobedience, as a result it turned the whole ship to fear the God of Jonah, the one true Living God.
And so for 3 days, you guys know the story, he wept and repented in the belly of the whale . . .
. . . and God knowing Jonah was sorry, set him free from the belly of the whale, to go and warn the town of Nineveh to repent or perish.
To me, I felt Jonah had avoided this mission for fear of what they may do or say to him. He didn’t trust God that if He asked him do to something for His kingdom, that He would not indeed have protected him from such troubles.
But instead Jonah fled that burden, and so his load became greater.
In my case, without going into too much detail, I was told to sever a relationship and I let it go so long in hopes of change and not wanting to hurt the other person. And it just became grievous and I was afflicted with guild and shame.
After delivering the news to Nineveh, he get’s angry. Angry because, God changed his mind and showed mercy to the people as they wailed with sorrowful hearts in sackcloth and ashes.
Then God causes a gourd to grow for his protection front he sun, and then sends a cankerworm to make it wither and die. Jonah is not happy.
That was me, super angry. Which is honestly not an emotion I usually hold onto. So the mere fact that I was angry upset me, if that makes sense. Also, I was angry that several of my newly transplanted veggie plants had gone to compost from Alvin and his buddies burrowing in next to my garden. I was pretty sad I lost a bunch of plants. But really, I have no right to be. God made those plants, He’ll makes some more. Chipmunks gotta get their vitamins too.
So i just wanted to remind everyone – reading the same book of the Bible 7 different times is gonna show you 7 different concepts, ideas, lessons, corrections etc.
And don’t be so mad when you make things harder on yourself for someone else’s sake, and then be surprised in your affliction.
Also – If you feel in your heart that God is leading you in some way. – Listen. It will always make things better on you, not worse.