Thursday, January 5, 2017

More Like Love in 2017

I'm re-reading Herman Melville's classic work, "Moby Dick," for the first time in almost 30 years. I was pierced in the early pages as Melville paints a verbal portrait of the story of Jonah - telling how the son of Amittai set out in "willful disobedience to the command of God"  ... because he didn't like the command of God!

God's command was for Jonah to go and preach the gospel of redeeming grace to his enemies - to warn them of the impending danger that hearkened at their heels - in order that they might be saved from it.

Boiled down to the barest bones it was a command for Jonah to go and love his enemies as much as he loved himself. But, the command to love those he loathed was distasteful to Jonah (as it is to us) - so distasteful that he set out to sea in the absolute opposite direction of obedience.

Jonah willfully disobeyed the command of God because it conflicted with his own personal likes and lusts. God's commands often do ... because by nature we're pretty stinkin' selfish (I know I am!). If honest, we're often selfish even in our acts of supposed selfless service - we do them because they make us feel good inside or because (theological horror of horrors) we might errantly think they could possibly produce some kind of "cosmic karma" that will boomerang back around to our own benefit one day. (That's another post for another time!)