August 10, 2011

"Chosen People" Syndrome

Jonah 1:1-16

“Go to the great city Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Jonah 1:2


Do you have “chosen people” syndrome? Symptoms include keeping quiet about your faith, little concern for people who don’t know Jesus, and a notion that God cares only about believers. Jonah had a classic case of this syndrome. God sent him to Nineveh—a violent, immoral city—but he wanted nothing to do with those people!

Jonah’s response was deliberate disobedience. He boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction to escape God’s call. Soon storm clouds formed, winds blew, and rain pelted down. While Jonah slept below deck, the sailors prayed to their (false) gods. They at least understood that they needed help, while Jonah did not.

After learning (from the Lord) that Jonah was responsible for the storm, the sailors demanded an answer from him. Then finally Jonah shared his faith: “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” God later confirmed this truth by quieting the storm after they threw Jonah overboard. In spite of Jonah, God made sure that he became known to these sailors.

Do you share God’s desire? Are you concerned for people who do not know Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth? God has placed you in your community, your workplace, your school to be his witness. Will you tell others the good news of God’s love?

Lord, we are often reluctant to share your good news with others. Change us and guide us to share your compassion for the world. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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