Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in things that people aren’t capable of accomplishing? Do you believe that there are things that happen that go beyond anything we are able to understand or accomplish today? What is it that helps you accept it? What is it that makes miracles believable? What would make it real to you? What could make the difference in such a debate? I know a higher level of math did the trick for me.
Today’s reading brings us to Jonah 4…
Jonah’s Anger and the Lord’s Compassion
1But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. 3Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
5Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. 6Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” 10And the Lordsaid, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
–from Jonah 4
Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Don’t turn from God’s plan. Will you choose to accept and receive the compassion of God into your life? Will you choose to receive the gift of God of life through Jesus Christ? Will you take hold of the miraculous things God is wanting to do in and through you? Do you realize that God’s Word even has been used in court?
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on scientific discovery brings us the topic of Scopes Monkey Trial.
We learn in today’s devotional how in 1925 there was a court case dealing with science, education, and culture related to the teaching of the theory of evolution which was illegal to do in the state of Tennessee at the time. We learn how it was triggered by a substitute teacher who decided he was going to teach evolution. We learn in today’s devotional the high level people who participated in this case included William Jennings Bryan (3 time presidential candidate) as the prosecutor, Clarence Darrow presented the defense. Today’s devotional then shares with us that the story of Jonah played into the trial as part of the debate as it relates to miracles. They argued that Jonah was sometimes viewed as fictional and if that was the case what about creation. They argued literal vs figurative – to teach a principle. We learn how Bryan responded with
I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there: some of the Bible is given illustratively.
— Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/news/science-religion/1999/12/clarence-darrows-examination-of-william-jennings-bryan-at-the-1925-scopes-trial.aspx#eCeC1XcM6KoJiC9P.99
As I looked for the quote above it is interesting to get to see the dialog between the two of them. Today’s devotional concluded with the following quotes from Bryan…
One miracle is just as easy to believe as another.
It is hard to believe for you, but easy for me. A miracle is a thing performed beyond what man can perform. When you get within the realm of miracles; and it is just as easy to believe the miracle of Jonah as any other miracle in the Bible.
So how about you? What do you believe? Do you have a source of truth? Do you have a foundation on which you can stand that won’t be shaken? Do you have a line in the sand that helps you know where to turn and what to do when you are faced with challenges? Do you have faith to believe? Do you have trust to believe? Do you have hope to believe? Have you noticed how science continues to agree with the Bible? Have you noticed how archeology has been validating the Bible? Have you captured the impact the Bible has and continues to have on the world?
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I praise You Lord that You go before us preparing in advance the good works You have for us to accomplish. I pray Your hand of protection over my family as we come and go – over my son while at camp that he will have an incredibly fun time while at the same time being safe and staying healthy. Bless and protect my wife and daughters as they come and go so that in and through it all You will be glorified. Help us Lord to stay on Your foundation so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.