We’ve all had challenging assignments before – homework, a business assignment, delivering some hard news, etc. If you’ve been following Christ for any length of time, you’ve also encountered some challenging assignments (you know, stuff like, “pick up your cross and follow Me”).
As I’ve been reading through the Bible in 90 days (yesterday was the half-way point!), I’ve seen God assign plenty of challenging tasks along the way (Moses vs. Pharaoh, Israel vs. The Red Sea, Joshua vs. Jericho, David vs. Goliath). One that keeps coming to mind, even though I read it on January 1, was God’s assignment to Noah…
For about 100 years, Noah built a boat and told his friends, neighbors, and mockers that rain was coming and they had better repent. When it was time to get on the boat, do you know how many had repented?
Does that make Noah a failure? It sure doesn’t. Had his task been to make everyone repent, then yes, he would have been a failure. God has never assigned that task to anyone, though. Noah’s task was simply to warn people. Therefore, he did his job. He succeeded.
On the far end of the spectrum, we have Jonah, the disobedient prophet who tried to run from God. He learned quickly that you can’t run from God when God sent a storm, some sailors that threw him overboard, then the stomach acid inside the belly of a fish. The fish vomited Jonah up, and “the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time…” This time, begrudgingly, he chose to obey. He preached a hardcore, turn or burn message that resulted in the largest revival in human history!
So what can we gather from these 2 completely opposite stories?
When God says to share a message, share the message, or else.
It’s not about their response, it’s about your obedience.
Sometimes people repent of their sins, and sometimes they don’t. Regardless of their response, if you obeyed, you succeeded.
God gives second chances (Jonah), but take Him up on His first offer (like Noah).
Some people won’t believe even when they see miraculous, undocumented events (the people in Noah’s day). Others will believe even if you’re not eloquent and a little scared at how they’ll respond (the people of Nineveh).