Most of the time we look at the book of Jonah as a children’s tale and fail to see the revelation that is there. First thing to notice is that God’s Hand is on Jonah. God has called him and God has sent him. The Bible says that “To whom much is given, much is required.” One that is called & sent cannot get by with some things that the average believer gets by with. When the human will interferes with God’s will, it creates chaos. God told Jonah, “go to Nineveh and cry out against it. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish.” The Jews had a great hatred for the people of Nineveh. Even though Jonah heard from God very clearly, he still decided he would do what he wanted to do instead of what God has told him to do.
Sounds like some of us.
“But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea…so that the ship was like to be broken.” The men on the ship began to throw all their belongings overboard to lighten the ship. When you hang around backsliding Christians, you can lose all your stuff as well. Sometimes we can get in God’s way of dealing with His people and it ends up costing us everything. Parents are praying for God to straighten up their children and keep getting in God’s way by bailing them out all the time. We call it love but God calls it lazy parenting. If you keep bailing somebody out and never see any productive fruit, then you’re doing it out of your flesh (emotions) and not hearing from God! When God tells you to help, you’ll always see positive fruit as a result.
If you’re “giving” to people in need and it’s breaking you financially, then you’ll know you’ve been getting in God’s way. If you’re getting in God’s way, He’ll break you until you can’t get in His way any longer. “As soon as they cast Jonah into the sea, the sea ceased from raging.”
We know the rest of the story where the whale swallowed Jonah, Jonah repented, the whale threw him up on dry land and it just happen to be “Nineveh,” right where God wanted him in the first place. Now Jonah does what God told him to do. God will have His way with us. We may place ourselves in our own belly of a whale, our own hell on earth, but repentance will restore us back to where we should have been all along. Jonah preached “You got 40 days and God is going to wipe you all out!” And the leaders of Nineveh believed God and called for a fast of all the people and all the animals. “And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way; God said that He would not destroy them.”
Then we see Jonah get angry with God; “It displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” Now isn’t this the same backsliding preacher that ended up in the belly of the whale and ask God to forgive him? I am amazed how we Christians can forgive someone who made a mistake several years ago, but when it was yesterday, we’re not so forgiving. Jonah even got in God’s case; “was this not my saying, when I was yet in my own country? Therefore I fled unto Tarshish.” Now Jonah is blaming God for his own rebellion. Then Jonah ask for God to kill him, “Therefore O Lord, take my life from me; it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah felt this way because of an Old Testament law that stated “If a prophet prophesied and it does not come to pass, he must be stoned to death.”
Sometimes even the strongest Christian can let their emotions get the best of them and say the dumbest things. So God replied “Doest thou well to be angry?” In other words “How’s that working for you?” God’s asking the same question of us today when we let our fleshly emotions dictate to us instead of God’s Word.
Until next time, keep your face in the wind and your kickstand up.
To be found faithful,