If you haven’t read the story of Jonah in a while, you may want to go back and read about Jonah’s hall of fame hissy. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and call them out on their evil.
Jonah rose and fled to Tarshish. Jonah didn’t give God a “say what?” Or “I don’t want to.” He just got up and tried to run away from the presence of God.
Our story moves to where Jonah is on the boat and tells the men to throw him overboard to calm the sea. Jonah would rather drown than go to Nineveh….so they picked him up and threw him into the sea.
This place is where Jonah gets his three-day cruise thanks to a great fish. Some think this is a metaphor for Jesus being in the grave for three days. But if the scripture is to be taken as said, that must have been some three days for Jonah. While in the fish, Jonah is praying to be delivered, and the fish vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Chapter 3: Nineveh repents, and God relented from the disaster.
Chapter 4: Jonah is mad. He’s angry that God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love toward the Ninevites.
Jonah goes out of the city to pout and even asks God to let him die.
Jonah was mad at God for showing mercy to the 120,000 people in Nineveh because he knew how evil they were.
Here are a few tips that could have saved Jonah that 3-day cruise
- Think before you speak – Through me into the sea?
- Take a minute – Jonah just got up and ran away from God
- Get some exercise – This can help reduce stress
- Don’t hold a grudge – after all, someone may have thought Jonah at one time shouldn’t be loved by God Know when to seek help – Jonah should have started praying long before he was in the great fish. Dear God…
Truth & Grace
We all deserve the judgment of God for sin. No one likes to hear that. Thankfully God is just as Jonah described – gracious, merciful, abounding in steadfast love.
Jonah 4:11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left…”
Challenge: I challenge you and I both to listen to God and trust that while we may not understand all His ways, we don’t have to.