What Kind of God, Part 1
For the month of August, we’ll be looking at the story of Jonah in the Old Testament — with a creative response to the text preceding the message. This week, David Hood offered a spoken word poem based on Jonah 1. Then Justin Fung addressed the shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, that happened within the last 24 hours; and raised some of the questions posed by today’s passage, including “What kind of God do we believe in?” and “What do we do when God calls us to do the right — but hard — thing?” [Jonah 1]
- Map of Israel and Judah during the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC)
- Map of Tarshish (potential location) and Nineveh
- Diver’s story: “I was snapped up by a whale”
- More on ‘chiasm’ (“chiastic structure”)
You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
‘Fear of God’ … is the dark gate through which [one] must pass if [one] is to enter into the love of God. [One] who wishes to avoid passing through this gate, [one] who begins to provide for [themselves] a comprehensible God, constructed thus and not otherwise, runs the risk of having to despair of God in view of the actualities of history and life, or of falling into inner falsehood. Only through the fear of God does [a person] enter so deep into the love of God that [they] cannot again be cast out of it.
Creative Response, by David Hood
Face you or flee
It’s not that I don’t hear your voice–
I’ve always heard it clearly.
It’s the believing, leaving, following I fear:
Those far away places fill me with trepidity.
Yet you say go.
Stubbornness, contentedness and laziness
addictively hold me back, distract from whatever
fullness you always promise.
But who are you to be trustworthy?
Thieves run free and the oppressed stay depressed.
The rich reap wealth and the poor pay the penalty.
Yet in this wicked world you’ve kept every promise to me:
Your ubiquitousness has expelled loneliness from my soul,
never have I once felt alone.
So in this in-between I face you or flee
Go where you point or sail the high seas.
Trust you or not, these and many questions abound,
But in the meantime I run from the answers
–May I one day, be found.