Have Mercy on Me!

We continue looking at Jonah, and find him in Chapter 4 displeased with God's mercy toward Nivevah. The Assyrians were arch-enemies of Israel and among the cruelest nations in history. Instead of being elated that God spared 120,000 Ninevites Jonah preferred to see his own pronouncement of judgment executed by the Lord. "Let those Assyrians get what's coming to them...

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Take Your Second Chance!

A "second time." Jonah's repentance gave him a second chance to obey the Lord and to fulfill his ministry. And he did it successfully. The apostle Paul tells us that "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" [Romans 11:29]. Jonah's disobedience did not take away his calling as a prophet. The discipline of the Lord was fruitful in his life. But compare King Saul. He also got a second chance after failing to wait for Samuel [1 Samuel 13] and he disobeyed again, and lost his kingship [1 Samuel 15]. But even that took many years to transpire after David was anointed.

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He understands our sufferings more than you know!

When I studied Isaiah 53 earnestly in the ancient Hebrew, I was taken back by the Hebrew word for "afflicted" (me-u-neh). In modern Hebrew this word means "tortured". When I was young, and first learned what torture actually involved, my soul was shocked that this could happen to people; in fact that it was happening to people. That a person could be kept alive for the purpose of intentionally causing him intense agonizing pain was an astounding enigma for my young soul. It really frightened me; and I think that fear of torture is probably the greatest fear that humans can experience. We read about people who have been tortured, with a kind of horrified awe. And quietly we wonder inside, "How can this be?" And, "Could this ever happen to me?"

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Embrace the Paradox and Rejoice!

Last night, we concluded the feast of Yom Kippur where Jews throughout the world “afflicted” their souls. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!”  You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind. Ironically, some of the only fully operational locations in Israel on Yom Kippur are the hospital emergency rooms – since kids who finally have no restraints on their bikes, skateboards, and roller skates tend to take risks they wouldn't normally take – it's Yom Kippur – they have the streets to themselves!

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Momentum Breakthrough!

Momentum is simply the force or speed of movement that carries an object to its final destination. If you want to break through, you need to have a certain amount of momentum. In order for a rocket to blast into space, it needs tremendous momentum to break the gravitational barrier - but with the enormous power of jet engines and rocket fuel the ship is propelled faster and faster till it breaks free of the earth’s gravitational pull.

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