As I former high school music director, I had the privilege of selecting the performing music for our choirs and hand bell ensembles on a yearly basis. In the course of my final year of teaching, I was blessed with an extremely talented group of young musicians, students with many years of bell experience under their collective belt. This would be the year to take on some challenging work, to raise the bar, to accomplish a Mission Impossible. During our class session one day, a student suggested that we attempt the theme from that old television/movie series. Our entire troupe was immediately pumped at the prospects of performing that fun theme song, so I began my quest to find a suitable arrangement for us to perform. I was successful, but oh my, we learned very quickly that the title was definitely in sync with the difficulty level of the score. Yikes, this was going to be tough! We would invest seven months of sweat and struggle before our impossible mission was finally accomplished. Our experiment in musical terror resulted in a job well-done!
Poor old Jonah has been the recipient of his fair share of criticism. He receives a direct imperative from God, “Arise, go to Ninevah…preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee,” clear, uncomplicated instructions. Son, go to that wicked city, warn them of my judgment, offer them the experience of my ultimate mercy. Go to Israel’s archenemy and lead them to repentance; lead them to Me.
Ninevah was a notoriously savage city. Located on the site of modern-day Mosul, Iraq, the Assyrians were among the cruelest people to have ever inhabited the earth. Documented evidence retells tales of victims being flayed with an iron club, captives burned alive, corpses and decapitated heads stacked into pillars, with one Assyrian king bragging that he had cut off their hands and their fingers and their noses…and I put out their eyes. And much of their cruelty was laser-focused on the children of Israel. With this brutality and savageness in mind, would you have wanted to go and offer God’s mercy to a people so worthy of His wrath and judgment? I fear that I would have mimicked Jonah and fled the presence of God in absolute panic at the thought of witnessing to this savage people,
Divine mercy, unexplainable, unfathomable, far beyond our comprehension, but this is what God offers a despicable people. I once read that mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan, and it certainly does. Summoned by God to preach to Israel’s cruelest foe, Jonah soon learned that no one is beyond the reach of our Father’s mercy, no one, for our God is longsuffering and patient. Ninevah would repent and accept the gift of forgiveness offered them.
Let’s look for opportunities to be an arm of God’s rich mercy, even if it seems to our human reasoning, a mission impossible. He is “not willing that any should perish,” and His arms of mercy are extended into even the darkest corners of humanity. During these dark day, let’s be quick to extend God’s mercy and grace to all around us, even to the mission impossibles, for with Him, NOTHING is impossible.
II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Lord, the door of mercy and grace is opened to anyone that chooses to enter. Help me to be faithful to share Your light with a world in such deep need. Help us accomplish a mission impossible, for with You, all things are possible.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2183-62b69c6fbfa4f' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2183&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2183-62b69c6fbfa4f' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2183-62b69c6fbfa4f' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>