Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SALT Challenge - Imperfection, the Story of Jonah

This week Pauline had the opportunity to present the SALT team with our challenge and she chose the story of Jonah, more specifically, Jonah's imperfections. Pauline has provided us with an excellent write up, which you can read about here. I love the story of Jonah! It's a clear picture of our fallen human nature and the amazing love of God. Jonah is a tiny book in the Bible, a mere four chapters but in this small book we see the outpouring of God's love and mercy, not only upon Jonah but also upon the city of Nineveh. When God gave Jonah specific instructions to go preach in the city of Nineveh, he refused and journeyed in the opposite direction. Most know how the story goes from here...Jonah ends up being swallowed by a giant fish, where he sits for three days before being spit out on dry land, after he tells God he's sorry for his disobiedence. Once out of the fish, Jonah hurries to Nineveh!
Sometimes I wonder how those in the OT, some who actually heard God speak, could disobey. I mean if God said to me in a voice I could hear, "go to Maine"...I'd go to Maine (or at least I'd like to think I would!) But don't we behave exactly the same way when the Bible, God's word in written form, tells us, for example, "do not covet" yet we spend our time worrying about what we don't have or spending money we don't have. Whether we love God or not, we constantly fail to measure up to His standards of righteousness.
That's what makes the end of the Jonah's story so special...Jonah did obey and told the people of Nineveh that God would destroy their city. But the city wasn't destroyed, God changed the hearts of the people and they repented; God spared Nineveh. After all is said and done Jonah utters these words, "for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindess." The mercy that God showed to Ninevah and Jonah is still alive and well today. If you're breathing then God is showing you mercy, whether you acknowledge Him or not. He is giving you more time to consider the work of Christ on the cross and it's meaning. God also bestows this great mercy and grace upon His children. Unfortunately, I still sin every day and yet God is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness! I am continually amazed at God's blessing, in spite of my ongoing struggles with remaining sin. But I am also continually comforted by His great patience and long suffering. No matter what your circumstances or how bad your life has been or is right now, God is able to transform the most stubborn heart...One needs to simply call upon the name of Christ to receive an abundance of love and mercy. Today, my card focused mainly on the scripture verse mentioned above, which I printed from my computer. The verse is paired with stamps from the PTI Floral Fusion set, which we received at the Super Craft Show. The papers and jewel brads are from Stampin' Up! and there are tiny rhinestones in the center of the smaller flowers thanks to Taylored Expressions. Enjoy and please stop by the SALT blog to see all of the wonderful creations from the entire design team! PS - I wanted to also add this side note, taken from my study Bible, since some might think this a fantastical story, never imagining it could actually be true. However, any raised objections spring from assumptions that deny God's sovereignty in nature and history, including His ability to intervene supernaturally in the created order. If God is God, then He can do whatever He wants, including having a man live in the belly of a fish for three days!


Julie Masse said...

Beautiful card!! We used the same set today! :) Wonderful write-up too!

pmk said...

Love the card Kim :)

Hazel said...

I love your response, Kim - such a good verse to choose - and thank you for sharing your thoughts x

Lythan said...

as ever Kim you have shared so much to think about. And a wonderful, wonderful card :)