While reading my Bible and sitting with a warm heating pad on my back and a bowl of peanut M & M’s by my side, the thought of relaxation and peacefulness came over me as the cool breeze was blowing in through the window.
What a blessing to just be still in the presence of the Lord and His Word!
Jonah would have found himself much better sitting quietly and listening to God, instead of running away and catching a ship!
The Book of Jonah shows that God can use a negative example to teach a positive lesson. The negative example is the prophet Jonah, whom God called to preach to the citizens of Nineveh. This great city was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Jews hated the Assyrians because they were sworn enemies who worshipped pagan gods. So Jonah tried to run away from God’s call. We know the story of how a violent storm strikes the ship, which led to Jonah admitting that he was running from God’s call. He advises the sailors to toss him overboard to appease the anger of the Lord.
We read that God saves Jonah by sending a great fish to swallow him, keeping him alive for three days in the stomach of the fish. Jonah prays for deliverance and the Lord hears and has him ejected from the fish unharmed and placed on the shore.
Eventually, Jonah did travel to Nineveh and preach to the Ninevites, as God commanded him to do. But when they repented and turned to God, he sulked and pouted because the Lord refused to destroy them.
One positive thing we can say about Jonah is that he did dare to tell the truth about himself and his prejudice by writing the book that bears his name.
God reminded Jonah that He is merciful and a forgiving God, who loves all people, even the pagan Assyrians.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION:God’s message is for everyone. Despite the wickedness of the Ninevite people, they were open to God’s message and repented immediately.
Let’s do our best today and every day to simply proclaim what we know of God, we may be surprised at how many people will listen.