Monday, June 06, 2011

The Etch-A-Sketch God

In Jonah chapter 1, the Bible says, "And the Word of the Lord came to Jonah."

In Jonah chapter 3, the Bible says, "And the Word of the Lord came to Jonah A SECOND TIME!"

I love those words - "A SECOND TIME"!

Both times the Word of the Lord came to Jonah, He told the prophet to do the same thing. He was commanded to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because of its wickedness. The difference in the two chapters was Jonah's response.

In chapter 1, Jonah rose up and fled to try to hide from the presence of the Lord. Instead of going 500 miles east across the desert to Nineveh, he hopped on a boat and headed to the city of Tarshish which was located 2500 miles from the commanded destination. And you know what happened - God relentlessly pursued the prophet who ultimately ended up sitting on the shore in a pool of whale vomit after spending three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish.

But in chapter 3, Jonah obeys. He goes to Nineveh according to the Word of the Lord. His obedience was immediate and it was complete. It is a beautiful picture of Biblical obedience. God isn't impressed by our good intentions. He wants our total obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Partial obedience is also disobedience. Jonah obeyed immediately and completely when the Word of the Lord came to him a second time.

It reminds me of the old toy, "The Etch-A-Sketch." Remember that? You used the two knobs on the front of the toy and turned them to draw pictures. And if you messed up, all you had to do was shake the "Etch-A-Sketch" and you got a clean slate. That's what God did to Jonah. He shook him through a storm and a fish and gave him a clean slate. The Word of the Lord came to Jonah "A SECOND TIME!" And He is still the God of the "second chance" today.

Do you need a clean slate? Do you need the Lord to come to you "A SECOND TIME?" If so, then it is time to obey - IMMEDIATELY and COMPLETELY!

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