Jonah is not a fish story! Rather it is a story about God loving people before they even heard about Him. It’s also a story of how God continues to love and use people who know Him but still do selfish things.
Jonah knew God. He was actually a prophet. The city of Nineveh was far from God, but He had compassion on the people and wanted to draw them to Himself. The short story of Jonah is a wake-up call to the nation of Israel, the churches in America, and to individuals that God wants to have a relationship with us that is based on love, obedience and faithfulness.
- You can’t out run God.Jonah boarded a ship to the farthermost place he could get a ticket to, thinking he could run away from God. However, God knew exactly where he was and still reached out to Jonah even in his rebellion.
- God is in charge.We know this intellectually but do we know it spiritually? Jonah, even though he knew exactly what God wanted him to do, chose to do the opposite. God spoke to him, created a storm at sea, provided a way of escape through a fish, and re-directed Jonah to this metropolis in modern day Iraq.
- God gives second chances.How many times has He done that in your life? God desires to have a relationship with you and has done everything possible, even death on a cross. God forgives, disciplines, and keeps on providing opportunities for us to know Him and live for Him.
- God loves everyone.The Assyrians were feared by all. They were ruthless in battle and known for their cruelty. Yet God’s heart was broken and He wanted them to repent and know Him. An entire city was brought to God through His love by the reluctant witness named Jonah.
- God will empower you to do the seemingly impossible.Jonah feared and possibly hated the Assyrians. Jonah’s message was simple and actually was not words of hope but pending destruction. Yet, God used him to draw hundreds of thousands to salvation. It is not about us. It is about the power, love and grace of God.
Jonah’s story is similar to our own. We sometimes run from doing what we know God wants us to do. We often choose not to share the Gospel with someone because they are different. Our words are often not eloquent. We are called to go to places or people that make us uncomfortable. God loves us in spite of our running from Him and gives us second chances.
What is God asking you to do today? Will you do it?