He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
The book of Jonah is one interesting book in the Bible that is about a man of God who was used by God to lead the people of Nineveh to repentance. The people had caused God to want to destroy them. There evil was known all over the land that when God spoke to Jonah, whom he chose to lead the people of that area to repent and turn from their evil ways, he ran away. I also consider His life and equate it to ours whenever God calls us to do something and we run away or ignore the leading.
There came a storm that threatened to capsize the ship but Jonah had gone below deck, sleeping, oblivious of the goings on around Him. The sailors tried all they could to ensure the safety of all in the ship and its passengers. It is an amazing realization that during hard times, we all run back to Jesus; the sailors all started praying to their gods and the captain had to wake up Jonah to also pray (surprised that he could sleep in such trouble).
They cast lots and it fell on Jonah. They tried all they could to save him but in the end, Jonah just told them to throw him overboard.
In the end, the Lord God still had His way when He caused a fish to swallow Jonah. In his circumstances, Jonah realized he was on the wrong to disobey God’s call and he repented. The Lord God (who is big-hearted and very forgiving in nature) caused the fish to spit him out in the direction where He wanted him to go.
The people of Nineveh responded to the message from God to repent lest they perish. This angered Jonah so much that He complained to God.
I want to draw a side of God that Jonah highlighted while in that state. One thing that came out clearly was that Jonah was a really selfish man and very quick to forget how he had been forgiven. Here is someone who so quickly forgets not so long ago, God had shown Him mercy and by grace, caused the fish to spit Him out.
Sadly enough its a side that some of us believers have. Whenever new believers are born into the kingdom we look down upon, despise, demean and even ask God how such an ‘evil person’could be forgiven. We disregard their comments during fellowships and make them feel small and unworthy to speak up.
This also refers to a new (young) ministry that a believer has been called to start. There is no ministry more important than the other since we are one body and diverse(Paul in the book of Corinthians).
But God reminds Jonah, do you even have any right to be angry? As if even Jonah had ANY right really?! His work was done and He still wanted the people to perish.
I leave it at that but just remember Paul called on us believers (1 Thessalonians 2:7, 12) to encourage one another (Encourage) and nurse the young ones (new believers).
If God was to have His way, we don’t even deserve the forgiveness BUT His grace. By His grace… God bless you in your service for Him and may He use you as a vessel.
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