Monday: Our Excuses: False Views


Daily Lesson for Monday 30th of October 2023

When the storm came, Jonah blamed himself (Jonah 1:1-12). His attitude does reveal something about the kind of worldview and understanding of God or “gods” that many had back then. While various gods, they believed, ruled in their various lands, the sea was deemed the chaotic realm of demons. In the worldview of the mariners, sacrifice was needed to appease their wrath. Although Jonah was a Hebrew, he quite possibly had a worldview that was influenced by the traditional beliefs of his times.

Read Jonah 2:1-3,7-10. What do these verses reveal about how Jonah started to understand God’s providence?

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Although Jonah was running from the territory where the people claimed Jehovah as their God, he learned (the hard way) that even when he was traveling into foreign cultures, Jehovah was still sovereign. The wind and waves belonged to God. The fish, too. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness” (Psalms 24:1, NKJV). Jonah’s heart was turned to the Sovereign of earth and sea, and so he confessed and was saved.

We, too, can have misunderstandings about God and what He expects of us. One common misunderstanding is that God’s desire for us is to focus on our own salvation and to remove ourselves from the wickedness of the world around us. Though we are instructed to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27, NKJV), our focus should be on how we can bring God’s blessings and hope to those in need.

Another misunderstanding that stops us from accepting God’s call into mission is believing that success depends on ourselves. We can no more save a soul than Jonah could save Nineveh. We can have a “savior” mentality about mission. Our call is not to do the saving but to cooperate with God in His saving work. We give testimony praising God for specific ways He is changing us, but only God can draw people to Himself. We can plant seeds of truth, but only God can convert the heart. We often confuse our role with God’s, which is enough to make anyone find an excuse not to witness. Yes, God used Jonah, but only God, not Jonah, turned Nineveh around.

Winning souls is hard, too hard for humans to do on their own. How can we learn, instead, to let God win souls, but through us and our life and witness?


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