Friday, January 10, 2020

Welcome

January is now posted.


We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. A PDF file (large print) can be downloaded under the Archives tab and printed if desired, as well as past editions.

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

THE  WORD

Jack Davis


“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

THE PROMINENT PUBLICATION

“THY WORD:” There is nothing quite like the wonderful Word of God. It is an undeniable, unquestionable proclamation of God’s great love. There is no measuring its far reaching value, which is beyond comparison to anything else ever written. To me its special value is in the way it expresses and reveals the very heart of God.

God has spoken and is still speaking. We read in II Pet. 1:21 “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” II Tim. 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…” unto spiritual completion. What other publication has the right to make such claims?

God’s Word  has recorded the things that happened to humanity here before us, giving us samples or examples, to admonish (instruct and warn) us at the end of this age I Cor. 10:11. There is nothing written that stays so up-to-date. Rom. 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” As we read in the Word of our Father’s faithfulness in preceding generations, it renews, rekindling our hope.

How thankful we should be for His “true and faithful sayings” Rev. 22:6-7. They certainly are “worthy of all acceptation…” I Tim. 1:15. Believing mankind is highly favored to have the scriptures, and are so exceedingly blessed in keeping them.

TO BE HEARD: God’s Word was spoken to be heard, for faith comes by hearing, Rom. 10:17-18. We read repeatedly in Revelation 2 & 3, “He that hath an ear, let him hear…” Jesus said, “Take heed therefore how ye hear…” Lk. 8:18 and “Let these sayings sink down into your ears…” Lk. 9:43-44.

WE ARE TO HEED: How wise to pay close attention to God’s Word. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” Ps. 119:9. In Psalm 45:10-11, we find the bride beautified by hearkening. Considering and inclining her ear. Peter was inspired to write, we “do well” to take heed. Paul wrote, we “ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard.” Namely from God’s Word. The good seed of the Word should be given lodging in pliable soil of our hearts. When we are receptive to the Word, it cleanses our way, effecting our walk and talk, correcting our course, checking us with spiritual reminders.

TO BE HID: It is important for us to hear the Word and heed is, especially for the purpose of hiding it in our heats. We get the thought from our text of that which is valued and laid up. I deeply appreciate one translation of this verse, “I have treasured, what thou hast said.”

PERMANENT PLACEMENT

IN OUR HANDS: It is good to take the Word of God in our hands, and as it were, “handle, the word of life.” What a privilege to hold fast and hold forth that which has been held out to us. As we reach out for the Word, draw it to ourselves, and embrace it to our bosoms, it in turn becomes a “rod and staff” which comforts us and a sword with which we may advance upon the enemy, by the Spirit’s guidance, for “It is written.”

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalm 119:105. As the Word of life is held as a lamp before us, our vision is focused to follow His wise guidance. See. Prov. 4:18.

IN OUR HEAD: “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” Ps. 119:15-16,130.

It is a common courtesy to give serious consideration to the letters sent to us by our acquaintances that have taken the time to write. How blessed we are to have the opportunity to read our Father’s letters of love for mankind. It is so important to search the scriptures, and seek His wisdom as for hid treasure. I do not see it as a bad thing to get God’s Word in our head by repetition, memorization or meditation. Especially if it is preparation for precious placement in our Hearts.

IN OUR HEARTS:  Where God would place His Word for reality, by revelation. The heart is often thought of as a sacred place, as the center of our being, for out of it are the issues of life. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Our hearts are a secret place, “Only God looketh upon the heart.” His Word discerns the thoughts and intents of our heart.

There is for us depth of meaning, glorious heights that would be otherwise impossible and unfathomable riches, as we give what God has said, the honored place in our heart and lives.  We do well to recognize the importance, acknowledge the authority, and submit to the precepts of this marvelous book, but expressly allowing it to become part of us.

THE PRESERVING PURPOSE

“That I might not sin against thee:” Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” Psa. 119:133. Sin is said to be missing the mark. We read, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Without God’s Word we all would miss out on God’s ultimate purpose for our being here. Apostle Paul was inspired to pray that saints be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye (we) might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing…” Col. 1:9-10.

We are admonished to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” Col. 3:16. In other words, let it be at home in us in all its wealth. Can we by the Spirit digest His thoughts, so as to become entirely acquainted with His will and ways? God not only makes known unto us His will and ways, but it is His purpose that they become ours. It is one thing to be aware of what pleases God, but with His Word dwelling in us richly, His will and good pleasure becomes ours. II Cor. 3:3 expresses how this is all possible. He writes His word, by His Spirit, in the tables of our heart. GLORY, GLORY, GLORY TO GOD!

THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT


Vicky Moots


“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” II Cor. 9:15. Unspeakable means, “beyond description.” There are no human words to adequately describe it. The value of it far surpasses any known earthly treasure, so there is nothing with which to compare it. Yet, it is God’s free gift to all of us.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom. 8:32. God gave His all when He gave His Son for us all (“for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son”) to purchase our freedom from sin, our salvation. But the Son, who died in our place, also gave His all. Through that gift, God has freely given to all who will receive it, all things. Nothing that God has provided for us is withheld from us except through unbelief. Can we really comprehend the immensity of that gift?
How can we through our feeble attempts at good works ever hope to add anything to an incalculable gift such as that? Why not just receive it by faith and enjoy the fullness of the riches of His grace? “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Eph. 2:8.

Thanks be to God for sending us His unspeakable gift of Love –
wrapped in the package of His dear Son.
Special delivered by His Holy Dove.
‘Tis a rare and unusual present imported from Heaven above,
a gift that keeps giving and giving-
The unspeakable gift of God’s Love.

Watch and Wait


Anita Clark – Pastor Carbondale, Kansas


“Again the Word of the LORD came unto me, saying, ...take a man and set him for a watchman: If when he sees the sword upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;  if the sword comes, and take any person away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me” Ezekiel 33:1-7.

Ezekiel was a watchman unto the house of Israel in the day when Babylon destroyed the nation and led many into captivity. The word “watchman” means “to peer, into the distance, to observe, and behold.” Israel used watchmen not only to watch for advancing enemies in time of war, but also when their grapes were about ready to harvest, or their crops were maturing and just about ready. They watched on towers in their fields to be aware of animals that might spoil the crops. It warns in Song of Solomon 2:15, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Ezekiel was a faithful witness to the people for God. Many of us today have been set by God as Watchman in this end time, when in the very near future the tribulation of seven years will be on the scene. We need to be faithful by the Holy Spirit’s power to peer into the future as He directs, and send forth warning for all to be aware of Satanic attacks and that Christ is coming very soon.

We are admonished through these words given to Ezekiel to be faithful witnesses, so that the wayward are without excuse. If we do not obey God’s voice to fulfill our calling as His watchmen, then God will hold us accountable. We are living in the last days. Oh, weary watchman, keep the charge of the Lord to faithfully proclaim the TRUTH and the WARNINGS. The end time is upon us. Very soon He will come for His bride, His faithful believers. The world, as a whole will be watching the Antichrist, the man of the hour on the earth, who will have the answer to the world’s need for peace. The Antichrist will sign a treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27) guaranteeing their security for seven years. Then will begin the prophesied time of tribulation.

Genesis 12:1-3 proclaims the blessing on Abraham and his seed. “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great: and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless the, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This is the warning that God has given. God has allowed much judgment upon Israel because of their rejection of Messiah Jesus, but He is a jealous God. He will not allow anyone or any nation to persecute Israel for long, before He will judge those who try to harm Israel.  Zechariah 2:8 says, “...for He that toucheth you toucheth the apple (pupil) of His eye.”

Apostle Paul was a watchman, and even though he is no longer here preaching and teaching, his words are still resonating through the world in many languages. The prophetic scriptures in Paul’s writings are being fulfilled today. Note II Timothy 3:1-7, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” He is as a Spiritual Watchman crying out in the dark night - “Know this, it is time to watch.” Perilous times are here on the earth right now. Read the list he brings out in verses 2-7; these verses describe what we are living with today. Note in verse 4, “Lovers of pleasure more that lovers of God.” When I was a child no businesses were open on Sunday, and the majority of people in the U.S.A. went to church.  Contrast that with what is happening now. It is hard to get even the believer’s to be regular to the services.  Look at the statistics and see for yourself. The interest for the things of God is drying up. As watchman we stand in the fight and declare the warning of the soon coming judgment, the tribulation of seven prophesied years is almost here. Just look at how different the world has become from what God declares in the Word of God.

We cry, “Come Lord Jesus. Take us away out from all the evil of this world.”  We long to see His beautiful face.

Are You Kidding Me?


Sometimes when something happens that we did not expect, or that is really amazing, we might say, “Are you kidding me?” This is what comes to mind as I consider the following:

“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.” Psalm 116:1
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:19

Have you ever thought about God hearing your prayer? And answering your prayer? The Living God who created all things (you included) and “… he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:” Isaiah 42:5.

It is easy to become complacent with our situation and our relationship to God. We can easily forget Who He is, and who we are in relation. While it is true that we have been provided a great (amazing) privilege; “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Hebrews 10:19, we must not forget that He is still God, The Holy One. Our attitude before Him is based on being granted a great privilege and not one of insolence.

The idea that God, Creator of the universe, would listen to us and answer, is possibly the most amazing thing you will ever encounter. “I spoke to God about something, and He answered my prayer.” “Are you kidding me?” “No, it really happened.”

Now it needs to be understood that God does not listen to and answer everyone’s prayer. If you are not a child of God, saved by faith in Jesus Christ, the only prayer God will hear from you is a prayer of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9.

However, if you are a child of God, saved by faith in Jesus Christ, you have the privilege of speaking directly to God. He is your Father and He wants to hear from you. This is just a conversation between you and your heavenly Father. Don’t forget who He is. He deserves our extreme reverence (the fear of the Lord).

You don’t have to have someone go between you and God, because Jesus already mediated between you and God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1Timothy 2:5. This means you should spend some time, just the two of you. God wants to hear from you. He loves His children and wants to listen to our needs. But don’t forget to spend time in worship as well, because God deserves to be worshiped.

So, does it amaze you that God listens and answers your prayer? If it doesn’t, you are missing out on some serious enjoyment. Read your Bible so you will know what you are missing.
Gordon Crook

THE WILL OF GOD


Part 4 of 5


Carson Richards


Matt. 6:10, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” In consideration of this will, that of God, the supreme will of the universe, we have these words of Jesus. They were in answer to the request of the disciples for instruction for prayer. After petition for His kingdom to come on earth, which is primary to His will, the beginning of all prayer is: “Thy will be done.” This is logical. Of course, it is the greatest thing to be desired, that of having the Ruler of all things to have His will.

Dan. 4:35, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” So the greatest Gentile ruler gave his finding about the supremacy of the will of God. He found it out the hard way, having been brought down lower than an animal. God has ways of impressing the importance of His will on men, even the greatest of them.

Dan. 6:25-27, “Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.  He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” We have seen above that Jesus gave the will of God as the prime motive of prayer. Nebuchadnezzar gave witness of God’s authority in heaven and in earth; and here King Darius confirmed the fact, after the matter of the lion’s den.

Luke 1:19,20, “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and an sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” Here, one of the “army of heaven” spoken of by Nebuchadnezzar. Gave verification of the inviolability of the will of God, and the seriousness of disbelieving His Word. This, of course, was the angel that appeared to the priest Zacharias, concerning the birth of John the Baptist. He doubted God’s Word, and by the hand of the angel was stricken dumb for a spell. Angels know the utter supremacy of God’s will. They are rather like a big brother to us. They don’t put up with the reluctance to obey among us little mortals.

I Tim. 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Here is God’s overall will for this world and passing scene of humanity. What we are to do, learn, think in a natural sense are not that important; not world-moving as important people think they are.

Just recently I was in a paint shop, a man entered and by the imperious look he gave the customers and even the clerk, one knew he was an important person, God’s treatment of every man is according to the above, laid out pattern. Everyone of us is a testimony how God expended Himself to seek us out. His guiding circumstances to get us to salvation: He moved mountains to get us to the truth. We can’t figure it all out, but it was His will, praise Him!

I Tim. 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” Here is the path of the man of God in a covetous world, that which we saw previously in our discussion of the will of Satan. It does not mean a “cop-out” from all natural responsibilities or endeavors. It is all woven into the fabric of God’s will, though, these natural things, that is. Perhaps in this list just quoted of His will, we might clarify with opposites of each item: righteousness, whose opposite is wrongness; godliness—devilishness; faith–unbelief; love–-hatred; patience–-urgency (the things of the world, oh, so important to the worldling); meekness–aggressiveness. These things seem impractical in a world dominated by Satan; yet being the will of God, who is responsible to back them up?

Rom. 9:15-22, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?”

Now in this passage we see God’s permission of evil, and opposition to His will. This is puzzling to us in One of supreme authority. We are accustomed to those of authority using their authority at all times. There is a reason for it. As we learn in Exodus, Pharaoh resisted the will of God. He and his army ended up on the floor of the Red Sea. This is a type of  Satan, who will end horribly in judgment eternally. God endures old creation, for it all has meaning in His final will.

I Pet. 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” God’s will includes suffering. This is strange to our way of thinking. We all have been through periods of suffering – not always at the hand of men, sometimes that of Satan, whose will clashes with the will of God. Who is greater? He will show it, as He often has.

Some suffering is punitive, but not all. In Hebrews 12:5-7 we see, “And ye have forgotten the exportation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hence chastening is also instructive, but it hurt body, soul, spirit, one or all of these. It does not indicate that anything is wrong but that it is growing pain for “every son.” It is the price of sonship in His will.

Eph. 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” His will is pleasure for Him and for us. Psalm 16:6, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Here is the ecstasy of Jesus in eternity. He goes on and says, Verse 11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” In the permanent things, God’s will is good and happy for all.

Eph. 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” The final will of God is finally wealth for His sons. It is an immense sharing of the possessions of the Possessor of all things, including the bridehood and all the depths of divine love. Is it not wonderful?

JONAH


Debra Isenbletter


Jonah 1:1-2, “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah…Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
I have broken this verse down into three parts:
The Commission: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city,”
The Cry: “and cry against it”
The Condemnation: “for their wickedness is come up before me.”

The Commission: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city” The Lord begins with telling Jonah to “arise,” to “rise up;” “to stand up.” This is such an important word in the life of a child of God. It is a decree and a command but we have a choice in how far we obey that command. We begin by actually “standing up” but once we do that we do not stop there. We are to “continue,” it is not a one-time act, it is a life-time commitment. As we “continue,” it also means “to be established” and there we see how we are strengthened in our stand, established in our commitment. Besides being established “arise” also means “to endure, to be fixed, to become powerful.” None of those things are easy or easily obtained, they come with sacrifice and submission to God’s Will and God’s Word. Each time we “arise” and “stand up” enables us to do so the next time we are called upon to do so and the result is that we become more “fixed” in our stand and more “powerful” as a result of our stand. Finally, “arise” also means “to be proven” and “to be fulfilled.” The Lord proves us and we prove the Lord as we trust Him for His enabling power and ultimately, we are “fulfilled” in a way that is only understood by the servant serving his Master.

Jonah was to arise and to “go to Nineveh.” He was to “go forth,” he was to “go forward,” he was to “to go to and fro and up and down.” Ultimately, he would do this when he walked through the streets of Nineveh but not right away. Jonah did “go” but he went his own way, his own direction, He did “go” but not in obedience instead it was in disobedience. The Lord knew exactly where He wanted Jonah to go, it was “to Nineveh. It was to the capital of the nation of Assyria and it was a “great city.” It was great in the number of people that lived there, it was great in power, wealth, beauty. It was great in age, it was an old city. It was also great in pride. No one could deny its greatness and Jonah certainly knew it. It was a city built by Nimrod, whose father was Cush, the son of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. (Gen.10:6-11). He also knew the reputation of the people and the city.

Jonah needs to see God’s greatness instead of man’s greatness, he needs to see what man builds God can destroy. Noah also needs to see God’s grace because it is not just the city and the people he fears but we find that he knew that God was gracious and merciful and feared He would not destroy the city (Jonah 4:2). Jonah was very conflicted.

The Cry: “and cry against it.” Jonah was to “proclaim” and to “preach” against the city. His message was a message of Judgment. This is the responsibility of a prophet of God, it is to “cry.” It is to speak for God. His voice is the voice of God. He is to “cry” with the voice of a trumpet, warning of danger. (Isa.58:1). He is to “cry” without fear of the response of men. (Jer.1:8-9). The Lord is greater than the greatest and most powerful men. The prophet doesn’t see their faces, he sees the Face of God. He does not hear the words of men, he hears the Word of God. He is to “cry” whether they will listen or not. (Ezek.2:7) He is to “cry” with the power of the Spirit (Micah 3:8).

The Condemnation: for their wickedness is come up before me. God saw their wickedness. He saw their evil. There was an outward evil, they were brutal conquerors, they committed atrocities in the ancient world. There was also an inward evil. God said that their evil had an offensive odor, He said that it is come up before Him. It rose up from the earth to heaven. One translation is it “has come to my attention.” Their idolatry and their cruelty came to God’s attention. The Lord saw the evil in the days of Noah. (Gen.6:11). The Lord saw the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen.18:20; 19:13). The Lord sees everything. “…the eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (Zech.4:10). “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Lk.12:2)

Vs. 3: But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof; and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

His Destination: But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish. How sad if there is a “But” in our lives. How sad if there is resistance or rebellion in our lives. Jonah rose up but not in the right way. Yes, he did “rise and stand up” but it was not to do what the Lord called and commissioned him to do. He rose up in Disobedience. Where we obey or disobey the first step is a rising up. If it is in obedience, it means we “abide, continue” and we are “fixed” in God’s purpose for us and we do not falter or alter our course. If we are disobedient, it means “to raise oneself up,” there is no dependence upon the Lord, we are dependent upon ourselves, we are independent of God. In that disobedient attitude we can be just as “fixed” in our course and attitude, we can choose to “continue” and not change course. When Jonah “rose up,” this shows the strength of his purpose and decision and he will continue until the Lord forces him to change his mind. Jonah rose up with a purpose. It was “to flee,” it was to run away and he did it with haste. He did not tarry, he went immediately on the course he had set for himself.

Jonah knew exactly where he wanted to go, where to flee to, it was “unto Tarshish” which has several meanings. It means “she will cause poverty;” “she will shatter” (JB Jackson). It means “contemplation, examination” (Hitchcock). Jonah does not realize how impoverished he will become spiritually when he flees to that city. He does not realize that by going to this city his hopes for escape will “shatter” even though he will find a ship and leave. The first cracks have begun to appear and will be completed on the voyage. He will have an opportunity for “contemplation” and “examination” while he is there but he chooses not to do those things, he has made up his mind. It was a city named after Noah’s great grandson (Gen.10:4; 1Chr.1:7).

Jonah flees “from the presence of the Lord.” One translation is “from being in the presence of the Lord [as his prophet].” (Amplified) Jonah is trying to flee “from the face or sight of” the Lord. At least he tries to or thinks that he can do this. What is sad is that he has stood in “the presence of the Lord” in the past. What a precious experience that must have been. Now Jonah wants to flee from that presence. The presence of the Lord that he tries to flee from shows his place and position as a prophet. It is a place of communion and fellowship. It is a place of obligation and responsibility. It is a place of service and subjection. In his flight Jonah tries to flee from all these things and he will find out that it is impossible. He is trying to flee from “the Lord,” from Jehovah (yhwh), the “self-existent; eternal one (who reveals himself).” And the Lord is about to reveal Himself to Jonah in a way he did not expect. Jonah’s reaction and action shows he has forgotten his place and the Lord’s place. It is almost like he is trying to resign as a prophet, from that call, from that commission, from that anointing. He is rejecting God’s Word; God’s Will and God’s Call. He forgot the Lord’s authority and sovereignty, he forgot his subjection but the Lord will remind him.

Jonah is not the only prophet to try to avoid his responsibility and calling. Moses, Elijah and Jeremiah all tried to avoid responsibility for different reasons. Moses tried to avoid responsibility because of doubt, because he looked at himself. 1st Doubt: “Who am I?” (Ex.3:11) 2nd Doubt: “What shall I say?” (Ex.3:12) 3rd Doubt: “They will not believe me” (Ex.4:1) 4th Doubt: “I am not eloquent” (Ex.4:10). Elijah tried to avoid responsibility because of fear. His Fear: Jezebel threatened his life (1Ki.19:2) His Flight: Elijah fled for his life (1Ki.19:3) His Excuse: “I only am left and they seek my life” (1Ki.19:10) Jeremiah tried to avoid responsibility because of persecution. His Humiliation: He was put in stocks and on display (Jer.20:2) His Rejection: He was mocked and reproached (Jer.20:7-8) His Silence: “I will not … speak any more in his name” (Jer.20:9)

No matter how impossible the responsibility, Faith sees the One who will make it possible.
To be continued