Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.
~Psalm 105:1, NLT
We are called to love what God loves and that is the whole world.
Israel misunderstood their calling. God choose them and set them apart for a special purpose and that was to tell the world about His infinite greatness. God’s redemptive purpose comes to the surface in many Old Testament passages such as Isaiah 42:6…“I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.“ Israel’s calling was to serve, not be served. God wanted them to proclaim His greatness through the grace they experienced. He wanted them to demonstrate this grace so that all the world could see. He never intended for them to become bigoted haters of the Gentile world [nations]. Psalm 105 recounts Israel’s history from Abraham to the wilderness experience. God demonstrated His awesome power in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt; He gave them a powerful testimony. The Israelites had witnessed God’s power with their own eyes and they were to share it saving grace with the whole world but God’s redemptive mission was not carried out because Israel misinterpreted its call. They assumed God’s grace and goodness was for them and them alone. They were never the witness that God intended them to be because they lived in perpetual disobedience. It is impossible for us to demonstrated God’s grace to the world when we refuse to obey His commands.
Ironically, Christian today are prone to make the same mistakes as did the ancient Israelites. We horde God’s grace: something He never intended. The thrust of the book of Jonah is God’s Redemptive Mission. Jonah was a Jew who hated Gentiles, especially the Assyrians. God did not share his hatred. He called Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the Assyrians of impending judgment because they were indeed a wicked people. Jonah refused to go. He wanted the Assyrians to burn in hell. The last thing on earth that Jonah wanted to see was for the wicked Assyrians to repent and be forgiven. Jonah has the same spirit as the Elder Brother in Luke 15. The very last scene in the saga of Jonah is his encampment outside Nineveh. He had built a small shelter for his own comfort and God showed Jonah more of His grace by letting a vine grow up to give Jonah shade from the hot sun. As soon as Jonah got accustomed to the shade of the vine: God sent a worm to destroyed the plant–thus destroying Jonah’s comfort. Jonah gets so angry that he wanted to die. At this point God speaks to Jonah: “You are more concerned about the plant than you are people. You are more concerned about your comfort than you are their salvation. There are 120,000 lost people in that great city and you don’t care about their salvation.” [JEV]
Jonah was a jerk, a regular A-hole but are we any better? How concerned are we about lost people. Is it not true that we care more about our comfort than we are their salvation? Are we any less selfish and serve serving than Israel? Isn’t it also true that while we complain about our unfulfilled desires, we, like Israel, are living in perpetual disobedience to God’s call. Do we care more about pews than people?
The Father in Luke 15 loved his prodigal son and he expected the elder brother to do the same. The elder brother did not share his father’s love and compassion for the lost son. Jesus directed this story to the Pharisees but it fits the great majority of Baptist. Isn’t it about time we repented and became obedient to the GREAT COMMISSION. Our job is to get the gospel to the world and we begin with our neighbors.
- I know it is selfish on my part but I could really use some prayer. I have a REVIVAL coming up and I have several things on my mind. I need to get focused between now and Sunday morning. I love to supply preach but this REVIVAL has overwhelmed me with a sense of responsibility. I am trying hard to prepare but just don’t seem to be making much progress. Pray for a break through.
- I think FALL begins this evening at 3:00 and I for one am ready. I love fall and I will not be upset when the grass slows down.
- I’m not sure how long I will get to hang out at DBC Sunday morning but LORD willing, I will get the biscuits and donuts there: You ate 40 biscuits last week.
- We have at least three of our youth on the Danville High football team: they are off tonight. Rylee Wood is a Senior and plays on the Hartselle Team. Lance Callahan is a junior and plays for Decatur Heritage. LORD willing, that is where I will be going tonight.