I was challenged last week by my husband sharing with us one Sunday morning his discoveries in the book of Jonah. We all know the story, right? One prophet man doesn’t want to warn a particular sinful city, so he flees and God sends a whale (we like to think it’s a whale) to eat him up and throw him up on dry land three days later. The end.
My husband went on to read us the parts we don’t read usually nor do we remember.
Did you know the book of Jonah is literally one page of the Bible. It has four short chapters.
I find it amusing how God speaks to Jonah in the last chapter. As if a “whale” wasn’t enough God goes on to use a fast growing shade plant and then sends worms immediately to eat up the plant.
Serious movies and novels could be made to entertain millions with the actions of some of these Bible characters and their antics.
So here’s the sucker punch line that gets me in the last verse of Jonah chapter four.
This is God speaking to Jonah after he had a couple sleepovers in a fish belly and got catapulted onto the shore. Now he wants to die out of frustration and weariness of warning wicked people of their fate.
Stick a fork in Jonah, he’s done!!
“And should not I pity Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from there left and also much cattle?”
That’s how God ends the story folks.
I honestly thought Nineveh, the city he was sent to was destroyed. I missed the best part. The Bible says the people of Nineveh believed God. “They called for a fast and put on sack cloth, and the greatest of them to the least of them.”
Guys, they repented and turned to God and their city was spared.
God really does not let it go and consistently pursues Jonah to get the message to the people so they can be saved.
I serve a COMPASSIONATE God who desires for ALL to know Him and walk out their destiny that God deposited in them before they were born.
That was my take away. I look at what is going all around us today in 2017!!
Mass shootings, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires all circling around us at one time. God is desiring for us to repent and turn from our wicked ways and look to Him in our times of trouble. He wants me to repent. He wants me to turn from things that keep me from walking in freedom. He wants me to look only to Him for my salvation and hope.
You seriously have to read the book of Jonah to get the whole story and all it’s inner workings of repentance, compassion, obedience and complete and utter frustration to the point of wanting to die.
I will post a link for you to check out the story for yourself. Of course, it will be The Message version I post. It makes it super easy for me to follow along. Read it and see what great little nuggets God gives you about His sovereignty and His desire to draw all men unto himself.
Touch the link “listen” and you don’t even have to read it!!