Sunday, February 7, 2010
Longing for revival or not....?
Part of the Scripture text for my Pastor’s sermon this Sunday morning was Jonah 4:1-2. That is the place where Jonah laments that God is “gracious and compassionate,” that he is “slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.” He is angry because God will not destroy the people of Nineveh although they have repented at Jonah’s preaching.
How sad that God brought about a great revival in an extremely wicked city and a follower of the Lord is angry enough to want to die. I have always wondered what happened to Jonah. Did he learn to walk in the grace and love of His Lord? But we know what eventually happened to Nineveh, she grew wicked again and eventually she was destroyed. But we know something else also.
Eventually many Assyrians became Christians. God once again had mercy on them as he has mercy on many of us. I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who is part Iraqi-Assyrian. And she is a vibrant Evangelical Christian. She and my son belong to a Christian motorcycle club. I think of God’s mercy reaching down through all of those years.
But there is another question that I think about when I read the story of Jonah, “is it grace and mercy time for us, will we receive it, or will some grow angry if God changes hearts and lives today, in our nation, our cities, our Church? I remember reading about David Wilkerson and his call to minister to the gangs of New York. I was a young married woman when he started Teen Challenge. Young men and women came off of drugs and out of gangs to live for Christ. I still remember the criticism. Too much emotionalism, too much religion, too much, it wouldn’t last, etc. …
I always think of the Welsh revival when I think of God’s awakening of a nation, a people, a Church. So to end my thoughts, the Welsh song born from that revival:
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heavns eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of Gods mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heavens peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.