10-19 Lifelines: I have an idea

Posted 10/17/18

I have an idea

Some people have vision. Some people have ideas. There is a difference.

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10-19 Lifelines: I have an idea


I have an idea
Some people have vision. Some people have ideas. There is a difference.

I have to admit I have had many ideas – some grand, I thought. But without an incentive (vision), they really came to naught. I remember years ago, I really enjoyed drawing house plans. I had so many ideas, I just had to put them on paper and sometimes would get so caught up in the action, would actually rather draw than eat. But that’s all it was … until. There came a time when I was drawing plans for my own house. It went from ideas to vision. And from that vision, a house for the Marlowes was built.

I’m reminded of Jonah. When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and give the enemy a chance to repent, Jonah had a better idea. He knew God’s mercy concerning the people of Nineveh, so he felt justified not doing the duty God assigned to him. “Are you sure about this, Lord?”
It seemed an odd thing to ask — to go to Nineveh and “give” the enemy a chance to repent. This people was a ruthless enemy bent on destroying Israel. But Jonah, a native of Gath-hepher, a statesman and prophet, was given this dread mission. No wonder he didn’t want to go. “Who, me?”

He went down to Joppa and booked passage on a boat in the opposite direction. He was determined not go. But nothing worked out for him.

First, a storm came up — Jonah’s fault — and when he was cast overboard, God had a big fish to gulp him down.

After a “little pushing” from God, Jonah went — not without resentment and with no mercy. That was all right though ... God had plenty of mercy and it was always apparent with his judgment.

God never does anything without a reason. Not only was the preaching of Jonah to Nineveh necessary for their being brought to repentance, it also showed Israel that God was not interested in them only, He also was the deliverer and savior of other nations. In fact, Joppa, the city that Jonah headed to first to avoid the encounter, was the very place, where 800 years later, Peter was told to receive men of other nations.

Isn’t it amazing how God orchestrates events!
Now Jonah didn’t promise the people of Nineveh any hope of redemption. He didn’t have words of mercy. His message was “doom and gloom.” He burst upon the city with “yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

Nineveh was a big city — it took all of three days to walk from one end to the other preaching what God had told him. So ... they believed God — even the king proclaimed a fast and said, “let them turn every one from his evil way and from the violence that is in their hands (Jonah 34:8).

God recognized their repentance. His mercy was extended beyond the judgment.

Jonah wasn’t too sure about his mission, and he never realized that later, the event would be remembered as a sign of Christ.

We may look on Jonah as a runaway — even a coward — but don’t we all have our “Joppas” and our “whales?” Our ideas just don’t work. When will we learn to believe God? “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).


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