Recently, I was drawn to a verse in Jonah that I wanted to mine for its gems. As I started to find a whole lot more, I was amazed again how magnificent the Word of God is in its simple depth. Jonah is an amazing story obviously shadowing the then future resurrection of Jesus Christ. With its 3 days/3 nights in the belly of the whale incident, it sits as a sparkling jewel amid the Old Testament records. It is the story of salvation, not only for Jonah and Nineveh, but it is a type for us to read and think about.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed.Salvation is of the LORD. 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
The world is full of ‘lying vanities’. Psychobabble, politics, self-interest and secularism opine at us daily dropping the veil of unbelief wherever they can gain access and distort or even remove our view of a compassionate, loving and willing God.
I am thrilled by the beauty of the Word and how God has protected it through the ages. There are many precious gems of truth sitting in the tiny book of Jonah. Just being in it a couple of days has generated fellowship, dialogue and joint amazement with other people who have reflected back more light off the facets of the same jewel.
Thank God that God has provided an open door to His heart. We can communicate directly with Him heart to heart! Thank God that communication to him is not through text messages, emails, twitter and Facebook. Cyber communication has many pitfalls. Just look at all the quotes and conversations that appear on Facebook alone. Sometimes posts seem inspiring, but may still contain what I call the ‘complaining’ effect that when the ‘Post’ button is pushed it unloads something negative on all who read it.
Communication on a human level is tough. God is a great listener. We can talk to Him and we don’t have to worry about being misinterpreted. Have you ever poured out your heart to someone and gotten frustrated because he/she didn’t understand what you were saying. The more you try to explain, the deeper trouble you get into. I have worried about being misinterpreted and wanted to fix it, but the older and wiser (hopefully) I get, the more I realize that this too is what prayer is for. I have grown to love praying for people I have trouble talking to or don’t understand. Prayer is the greatest action you can do for someone else and for yourself.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8
Sometimes, and I have said this many times before, we feel like we are boxed in; that is the way of the world. When David was hiding in a cave away from Saul, his prayer was that he might praise God’s name through it all. The situations we find ourselves in today may not involve a Saul problem, but a maybe its a dilemma that seems like there is no answer.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. Psalm 142:7
Difficult things tend to make us feel very defective, David’s psalms expressed the same feeling. David was a man after God’s heart so despite his shortcomings, David trusted God. That is our job too!