Sabbath: Excuses to Avoid Mission

Daily Lesson for Saturday 28th of October 2023

Read for This Week’s Study

Jonah 1:1-17; Jonah 2:1-10; Jonah 3:1-10; Jonah 4:1-11; Nahum 1:1; 2 Kings 17:5-6; Psalms 24:1; James 1:27; Isaiah 6:1-8.

Memory Text:

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’ ” (Isaiah 6:8, NKJV).

Not everyone called to mission was as compliant as Abraham. Jonah is an example (read Jonah 1:1-17; Jonah 2:1-10; Jonah 3:1-10; Jonah 4:1-11). God called Jonah to cry out against Nineveh, capital of Assyria. This city, located in modern-day Iraq, was 560 miles from Jerusalem, a good month’s journey. Jonah not only refused to go—he ran in the opposite direction. Arriving at Joppa, he purchased passage to Tarshish, now southern Spain. Sailing the 2,000-mile trip would have taken at least a month, depending on the weather. Not wanting to confront the king of Assyria, Jonah uses the month it would have taken him to get to Nineveh to get away from it. Why would he, a man of God, have done that?

The Ninevites were notoriously wicked, a people known for their evil and cruelty and who had attacked Israel and Judah. Nevertheless, God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and to cry out against its great wickedness (Jonah 1:2). The wording here is very similar to the wording God used with Abraham regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, in Genesis 18:20-21. As we will see, however, Jonah was no Abraham.

What can we learn from Jonah’s attitude about the excuses that we can make in order not to do mission?

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, November 4.


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