Here is a Radio Bible Class devotional which I just finished. I still have time to make changes before I submit it, so any suggestions for improvement are welcome.
on whose terms?
read > Jonah 2:1-2
“Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. He said, ‘I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.’”
Country singer Carrie Underwood has two hit songs. In “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” she sings of a young mother whose car is sliding on an icy road, and, just as she is about to crash, cries out for Jesus to save her. “Jesus, take the wheel,” she sings, “take it from my hands ‘cause I can’t do this on my own.”
In “Before He Cheats,” Underwood sings about what she did to her unfaithful boyfriend. While he was romancing another woman, Underwood said that she was demolishing his car, slashing its tires and leather seats, scratching the paint on its doors, and smashing its headlights with a baseball bat. “Maybe next time,” she says, “he’ll think before he cheats.”
Both songs resonate with most people. Who hasn’t cried out to God in desperation, and who hasn’t plotted revenge on those who have hurt us? And yet it seems that we want to have it both ways. Why do we sing “Jesus, take the wheel?” but not “Jesus, take the bat?”
We are too much like Jonah. He begged God to take the wheel of his life when he was swallowed by a whale, but he also wanted to hold onto the bat and take a few swings at his enemies in Ninevah.
When they repented and God relented, Jonah angrily complained to God, “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD?…I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people. Just kill me now, LORD!” (Jonah 4:2-3).
Likewise, we want God’s help, but on our terms. We want God to forgive and rescue us, but we reserve the right to smash the headlights of those who have sinned against us.
God won’t be played. If you’ve given him the wheel of your life, hand over the bat.—Mike Wittmer
more > Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:38-41; Romans 12:17-21
next > What is the difference between standing up for yourself and sinfully seeking vengeance on another? How can you tell if you are fighting for justice or just being selfish?