Day 37: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 37: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. (Luke 11:29).

This was Jesus speaking to multitudes – calling them an ‘evil generation.’  How does, a popular Rabbi, followed by huge crowds, call them ‘evil’?!  For modern inspirational speakers, this is upside down and backwards.  Jesus just doesn’t know how to inspire the culture to higher achievements, according to modern thinkers.  A Norman Vincent Peale, or Anthony Robbins, would certainly eschew Jesus’ approach to influence people.  Positive reinforcement should be the tool to impact people, not calling them ‘evil.’

For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. (Luke 11:30).

What was Nineveh?  It was first mentioned in Genesis 10:11, and was the capital of the Assyrian Empire.  At the time of Jonah about late 700’s B.C., it was the largest city in the world.  The modern location is by Mosul, Iraq.  The word Nineveh, comes from the Sumerian, Nina, and came to mean the goddess Ishtar, which is written with a sign depicting a fish inside a womb.  The city was 74 miles in circuit, walls were 100 feet high, and wide enough for three chariots to ride abreast.  It had 1500 towers, each 200 feet high.

We’ve noted earlier that the Lord directed Jonah to go to Nineveh: Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2).  Well, you got two evil generations here: Jesus’ and Jonah’s.  Jesus is making the comparison, so his generation might think about this striking similarity.

God called Jonah to influence the non-believing world, and Jonah thinks that stinks.  He knows Nineveh was Israel’s enemy, they wanted to expand their empire. Throughout Jewish history, the Lord has used the Jews to influence Gentiles: Joseph/Egyptians; Esther/Persians; Daniel/Babylon; David/Achish; Ezra/Persians; Solomon/Queen of Sheba; and many more.  Ironically, Gentiles have generally been hostile to the Jews.

In contrast, Jesus ministered in northern Israel called: Galilee of the Gentiles (Matt. 4:15). He lived in Capernaum on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee.  It was the crossroads of cultural interaction with the Decapolis – Ten cities, which were Gentile towns.

When Jesus was born, he was brought to Jerusalem to be ‘blessed.’ Rabbi Simeon, blessed Jesus stating he would be: “…in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Lk. 2:31, 32).  Both people groups are targets of the Lord of Glory.  Jonah refused to go to the Gentiles, or their center of commerce, culture and military might.  Jesus targets non-believers.

Why should Jews target Gentiles?  Because the Lord commanded it, in Genesis. Abram, was called by the Lord to leave his home, and go to Canaan, the Promised Land. The Lord spoke to Abram: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Gen. 12:2).  Sounds like the Lord is in the blessing business.  A ‘blessing’ is generated because of affection for those to be ‘blessed.’ God wants to bestow a state of well-being to all, and a ‘blessing’ is extended from one person to another.  Abram will be blessed, so he in turn can bless others.

Who is the ultimate target of the Lord? “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3).  The Lord was not focused on individuals, so they get fat and sassy.  He wants to bless so blessings spread from person to person, lathering everyone.

Well, Jonah was digging in his heels, refusing to be a blessing!  The Ninevites were ‘evil’ (Jonah 1:2).  Does the Lord want to squash them?  Nope, he first wants to bless them!

Remember the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19?  The Lord came down to inspect the profane debauchery there.  On the way he stops and visits Abraham, Gen.18. Abraham intercedes for them: Gen. 18:17-33, He asks for deliverance for a people not his own.  He pleads and negotiates for Sodom’s benefit, in spite of their behavior!

The Lord desires all people to be blessed.  It is his nature: “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3).  But he uses people as the instrument to carry the blessing.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the first.  Isaac got the same vision as his dad: And the LORD appeared to him …”I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you… (26:24).  Jacob’s dream: Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (28:14).

The promise is still going strong today.  Who are the ones who are the ‘blessers’ today? If you are a genuine believer in Jesus Christ – you are.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal. 3:29).  The promises given in Genesis 12:1-3 are now yours.  You will be blessed, so you can be a blessing.  It is not negotiable. You just receive, and then you give.

This is what Jonah forgot, or ignored.  Jesus didn’t forget – he was the light to the Gentiles: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6).

How about you?  Are you more like Jonah or Jesus?

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9).  This is your spiritual destiny, to ‘proclaim’ the Lord.

Jonah tried desperately to ignore the call on his life.  It didn’t work out well for him.  I hope you are not ignoring God’s call.  It is easy to ignore something. Just a warning, the Lord will not allow non-action.  Jonah tried.

Your mandate is proclaim the excellencies of him.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear heavenly Father,

Give me a heart for the spiritually lost, so I can be a blessing to them.  Give me more opportunities to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ.  Give me a new boldness that I have not experienced.  Give me a greater vision for my sphere of influence.  Give me a careless attitude of my self-image, and more courage to tell spiritual truths.  Let me be audacious in sharing Biblical principles, knowing they are the foundations of life.  Let me share my blessings, so others can be blessed.  Let the glory of God permeate every aspect of my life, so people will recognize that transcendent worth of living a blessed life.

And Lord, deepen me with you.  Let me not just pour out spiritual truth, without filling me up with you.  Let the reservoir of my heart be an ocean of wonder because you are so majestic.  Let me experience deep respect and love of you every day.  Do not let a day pass without letting me delight in your blessings.  Let your blessings land in the harbor of my heart, then let them seep out of me to my wife, my family, my church, and my community.  Let people see you in me.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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