Jonah: what would you do? 9.2.18

September 2, 2018

YOUTH MINISTRY UPDATE

God loves us, God loves our enemies, and
God commands us to love our enemies.

Jonah: What Would You Do?

Most of us have be taught about the Book of Jonah.  God’s prophet Jonah chooses to run away from his calling, ends up spat up by a fish and performs his task anyway.  This is the summary as I understood it with the moral being not to run from God’s calling.  Our video study last night provided some key insights that make the Book of Jonah much more challenging.

First, did you know that Jonah shows up in the bible before his book?  In 2 Kings 14:23-25 we see Jonah prophesying to Israel’s King Jeroboam II about having God’s favor in battle; meanwhile, Amos, a faithful prophet of God, prophesied that Jeroboam’s wickedness would cause Israel’s destruction.  Was Jonah just preaching what the king wanted to hear; because we know Amos was right.

Second, did you know that Nineveh, the city to which Jonah was called to preach, was a major city in the Assyrian Empire?  With this tidbit, suddenly Jonah’s anger at the Ninevites becomes less absurd.  Jonah’s main complaint with God’s calling of him to Nineveh was that he didn’t want God to forgive the Ninevites.  Assyrians had murdered Israelite men, women and children, they had raped Israel and her people in an ongoing war, and Jonah wanted to see them burn.

Can you imagine being told by God to go preach to the men who committed 9/11, and that if you did, they would be welcomed into heaven?  Would you run to follow God’s command, or would you run the other way demanding that God punish them for their actions.  God loves us, God commands us to love our enemies, and God loves our enemies.  Throughout his book, Jonah asked God to kill him before he could preach, and his enemies would be forgiven.  What would you do?

Upcoming Lessons:

  • Sunday 9/2: Luke 12:49-53: Division?  Isn’t Jesus the “peace and love” guy?
  • Wednesday 9/5: The Book of Micah: God’s love is greater that human evil.

Event Updates:

  • September 8th: Lasertag Fellowship
  • September 15th-16th:  End of Summer Lock-In

Prayer Requests:

  • End of Summer Lock-In: I feel incredibly inadequate for the plans God has placed in my lap to accomplish.  Please pray that I could have greater trust and dependence upon God as I seek to do the works put before me.

     

Greg Horton
Youth Director