Jonah was a man of God, a man sent by God to bring the lost back to him and warn them to repent. Jonah was okay with going to the not so bad people to talk to them about God and telling them to repent . God called Jonah, sent him to Nineveh, the wicked and seemingly terrible people to ask them to repent and bring them back to God and Jonah blatantly refused. He did not just refuse, he thought to Himself, if I run away, maybe God won’t see me, maybe he will forget about saving Nineveh. Maybe then, they can suffer for all their sins. Jonah’s thought and reaction to God’s instruction cracked me up really bad. How could that have been one’s resolution? To run away from God? To hide from him and just ignore him? It sounds funny, yeah? But the truth is we do it everytime. God tells you to do something you don’t want to do, you totally ignore that instruction, then you try not to talk to God regarding that issue or issues that pertain to that thinking you can hide from God. Jonah’s hatred for the Ninevehites made him forget the Almightiness of God. It skipped his mind that God owns everything and everyone and if He wants something to happen, it’s the best, and it’d happen anyways. Jonah ignored God, and boarded a ship so he’d run away from God. Not long after he got on the ship, the wind became boisterous. This happens when we ignore God’s instructions for our lives. When God says go left and you think right seem brighter and better. Things might not readily go bad, they might even seem good but eventually, you’d see why you should have taken the direction God gave you. The merchants and other passengers in the ship were worried, they asked themselves who was responsible, casted lots and it fell on Jonah. He confessed that He was running from God, they asked him what they should do about him so that others can be safe and Jonah answered them saying,’He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”(Jonah 1:12). While
studying this scripture, it occurred to me that Jonah could have suggested something else, he could have told them to give him time to pray to God to calm the storm, He could made a decision right there and then to reroute to Nineveh, He could have asked God to forgive his disobedience but instead he remained adamant and would rather be thrown into the sea to die rather than do God’s will. Again you might be thinking, I’d never get to this extreme, but my dear we get to this extreme every time we disobey God. God says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.(Jer 29:11). This means that for everytime God says to do something in a particular way, and you disobey, you are choosing death, trouble, evil and confusion. The Bible says so. Jonah insisted on his opinion and was eventually thrown out of the ship.
Even when we choose destruction by disobedience, God’s Love will make provisions to help you reroute. Jonah asked to be thrown into the sea, Think about the number of deadly creatures that live in the sea, think about how far he’d have to swim even if he knew how to swim. There’s no way Jonah could have survived except from God providing that whale to swallow him and keep him safe. Whilst in the belly of the fish, Jonah prayed to God on the third night, this made me laugh again. Jonah was a stubborn man. He could have prayed immediately he got swallowed up but no he was still insisting on his opinion. Eventually, he prayed and thanked God then, God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah. Again, I’m sure you are thinking, no way! I’m calling on God when I’m in trouble of any sort but, we are like Jonah sometimes. You know God won’t change his mind about the decision he’s asked you to make so you’d rather suffer in silence instead of screaming for help and asking God to forgive your disobedience.
Jonah made up his mind to go to Nineveh after the whale vomited him, preached to the people but he still got angry that God saved the people. He asked God to kill him instead of Him living to see God save Nineveh. That’s a terrible place for one’s heart to be. A heart of disobedience and bitterness. Jonah did not mind his destruction as long as the Ninevehites would be destroyed too. God loves everyone equally even the terribly bad people and we ought to love them the way God loves them.
Forward step: God can never make a mistake, why not trust him totally and obey him every step of the way.
Study material : The book of Jonah.