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This week I want to revisit the tale of Jonah and the whale.
The story of Jonah, God’s prophet, is told by God: “Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” Jonah 1:2.
Ninevah was the capital of Assyria and very much a hated enemy of Israel. Jonah knew God was capable of forgiving the Ninevites, and this made him not want to do what God commanded.
I guess a modern day example might be Christians going to an extremist Muslim country to try and spread God’s word. Well, as we all know, God sent a “great fish” to swallow Jonah for three days. From the belly of a fish at the bottom of the ocean Jonah called out to God saying, “But I with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:9.
The fish released Jonah onto dry land and he did as God commanded. Jonah warned the Ninevites of God’s impending wrath and they turned from their sinful ways.
God did not destroy them.
There are so many different lessons we can glean from this short and simple story.
First, as our lord Jesus Christ commands you and me, we are to go to the unreached and tell of God’s word.
Jonah didn’t want to go, but God had very different plans.
Second, we must obey God’s commands no matter how difficult they may be, or even if our pride stands in our way.
Third, we must love and pray for those that are evil. Think of someone in your life who you desperately dislike and pray for him or her. Or perhaps pray for non-Christians, or those who have never heard the good news.
Fourth, praise God for his divine grace and ability to forgive.
God spared Jonah who directly disobeyed him. God spared the Ninevites, who undoubtedly sinned greaviously.
Don’t we often disobey our God? We must turn to him, honor him and obey him.
Jonah is a simple story with a lot of lessons to be learned. The final lesson is we can't escape God's will for our lives. We may think we are doing pretty good on our own, but if you are truly a child of God, you will answer to a higher authority, and God can take any means necessary to get our attention.
Jess Thompson is a resident of Lawrenceburg. Reach him at email@example.com.