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Bringing Up the Bottom
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 3: Surrender - Day 2
“... I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSINGS AND CURSES. NOW CHOOSE LIFE, SO THAT YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN MAY LIVE AND THAT YOU MAY LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD, LISTEN TO HIS VOICE, AND HOLD FAST TO HIM.” —DEUTERONOMY 30:19-20
“What if they never talk to me again?” “They’ll never believe me.”
“Doesn’t that seem mean? How can this be loving?”
These are just some of the statements that flash through the minds of those who attempt to confront a loved one in addiction. As the person suffering from an addiction swirls deeper into their own pain, loved ones stand by wondering if there is any other way.
Addiction treatment professionals consistently report that confronting the loved one is necessary and helpful. They have coined the term “bringing up the bottom,” which describes the process of confronting another in the hopes that this will allow them to see the truth and begin to desire change.
I think the master Healer, God, was the first to put this statement into action. Unknown to Jonah, God brought the bottom to him. The dark and smelly mess of a whale gut was his artificial bottom, and it worked just like the most successful addiction intervention. Today, let’s examine the ways that God can confront us with His love in His desire for us to choose life.
Reread Chapter Two, focusing particular attention on v. 2-7.
What actions does Jonah attribute to God in this chapter? (v. 2, 3, v.6)
V. 3-6 paint a visual picture of what Jonah’s near-drowning experience was like. Write down all the verbs that describe Jonah’s experience:
Like Jonah’s plea, the Psalms are full of visual pictures of the soul’s experience in times of need. The Psalmists often described these times of need as drowning, being chased by enemies, or being dried up and wasting away.
Turn to Psalm 13 & 142 for another example. Write down the phrases from these verses that resonate with you:
Bible commentators point out that God’s actions are just speeding up what Jonah already chose for himself. When Jonah says “my will be done” and God says OK, Jonah has already chosen death. Whether that death came by storm or by a long life in Tarshish, death is what he chose by turning away from God. Just like the loved ones in the story at the beginning of today’s lesson, we have difficulty seeing love in the hard confrontations in life. But we must recognize that this is evidence for the God who Loves!!
It is in His LOVE that he brings us to our own whale bellys...it is His LOVE that presses us into surrendering to Him. He doesn’t leave Jonah to his own devices. He doesn’t abandon him. And ...
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