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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Durso

Perspective is Everything

Not I But Christ

Why would a redeemed sinner brag about himself or anybody else? To rejoice in God's work among His people is to glory in God. To magnify a prophet, preacher, or pastor is most likely to forfeit God's glory.

Consider Paul's perspective when writing to the Corinthians. "For consider your calling, brothers, and sisters, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the insignificant things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no human may boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Under the inspiration of God, Paul tells us that God is not looking for men endowed with extraordinary natural abilities. Why? Because God deserves the glory, and when we idolize men for what God produced in them, He is not recognized. When God kills a giant with a stone by the hand of his servant, men still want to glorify David, even though that's the last thing he would like.

If I were to write an honest autobiography, it would read much like the book of Jonah. He's not as rare as you might think. In reality, any in-depth study of the saints of the Bible reads just that way. God creates good in sinful men; we call that grace. Commentators give much glory to Solomon for the extensive wisdom that he received from God simply because he asked for it. He never lived up to that wisdom and that seems to elude most readers. Even his Ecclesiastes is painfully void of any meaningful repentance.

Numerous times he speaks of the wisdom given him by God. His father's instruction never kept him from having 300 concubines by which he satisfied his insatiable lusts. He filled Israel with idols and high places without any stated regret. To be informed the right way makes us all the more accountable on the day of judgment. "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him, they will ask all the more." (Luke 12: 47-48)

I don't believe that we can view Solomon as a humble man from beginning to end if we judge that a man's actions mean more than his words.

Then we can read four chapters about Jonah's attitude, prejudice, pettiness, and worldly perspective. The interesting fact is that, in all likelihood, Jonah wrote the story. The writer had to know all the personal details known to Jonah and God alone. He would have to be in Jonah's head and heart to write such a tale. Jonah, the author, tells a more demeaning story than any other account in the Bible. By God's account, Paul was transformed into a holy and gracious servant of God. God gets all the glory for Paul.

Jonah wrote a tale that left him holding the bag of wretchedness and he gave God all the glory. If you don't see the things of which I speak, neither will you understand that it was God working in Jonah to write a humble account of himself.

To hear more on this subject, you can listen to my podcast, Jonah 4 The Contrary Prophet.

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