The theme of VBS this year is God’s Mercy. And the Bible story is from the book of Jonah. Right before Jonah was delivered to Nineveh by ‘whale mail’, he said, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy”, Jon 2:8. Lying vanities found in Jonah are:
That you can hide from God – Jon 1:3. Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the Lord. That’s impossible. Read Ps 138:7-12. Many people have tried to run and hide from the Lord. You can’t, Prov 15:3. He knows right where you are and he knows how to get your attention.
That you can disguise your true identity – Jon 1:9-10. At some point, in the circumstances of your life, when God gets your attention, you are going to be identified as a Christian. But the road your on, if you’re pretending to others that you’re not a Christian, is going to be a lot rougher than the road the Lord has for you.
That the journey back to the will of God is going to be easy – Jon 1:11-17. Jonah encountered a tempest, a whale, and a ship full of scared and disgruntled seafarers. It may take affliction to get you back on track, Ps 119:67. You may even have to reach bottom first, Jon 2:6.
That you can escape the call of God – Jon 3:1-2. In Rom 11:29 the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. I mentioned, Sunday night, that God had dealt with me several times in my younger years about preaching. He never changed his mind about that.
Conclusion: If you sense God is dealing with you about what he wants you to do for him with your life, don’t run. Don’t observe lying vanities. You’ll forsake your own mercy. However, God has plenty of mercy for you when you decide to go his way. Ps 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee”.