Bible Passage: Jonah 1
I found it comical, the extent that Jonah would go to hide from God. He managed to find a ship which goes to Tarshish, and when God sent a violent storm at sea, he tried to hide further by going down to the lower parts of the ship and managed to fall asleep there.
The book of Jonah began without any introduction of Jonah’s character, but we know that he was a man of God, specially chosen by God to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.
So surely Jonah is obedient to God’s commands, and surely he knows that he can never hide from God?
Yet he was so overwhelmed by the fact that the Almighty God expressed concerned even about those who were sinful and wicked. He felt indignant on God’s part that God could look past the sins of Nineveh and wants them to be part of the salvation plan. He felt that the people of Nineveh did not deserve God’s mercy.. so much so that he went through all that trouble, including being swallowed by a giant fish, to avoid going to Nineveh.
A few lessons/reminders for me today:
- God intends salvation for everyone, and His promise is so precious and true. His salvation grace extends even to those who are evil and sinful, who are we to judge who gets to be saved? Are there any areas in our lives in which we are defying God, and rationalizing it?
- We can never hide from God. No matter how we manage to put on an act in front of others, only God knows our true colours. On the last day, everything will be laid out in the open, and we have to give an account of our actions before God.
- Even though Jonah was a man of God, he felt that this time God made a wrong call and chose to disobey Him. Similarly, for those of us who may have a great relationship with God, who go to church regularly, who served Him faithfully and pray to Him frequently, we have to be mindful and be obedient to every word that God says. We must never be self-righteousness and impose our will onto God’s will.
- In the end, Jonah learnt an invaluable lesson, through a vine that God provided and later destroyed. God was patient with Jonah and persistent in wanting to use Jonah as a tool to spread the good message to the Nineveh city. Similarly, even though we may be reluctant to do His work, God is patient with us, and in many ways show us that we could be useful in doing great things for Him. Shouldn’t we be glad and willing to serve our God, when the opportunity arises?
In fact, Jonah is one of my favourite books in the bible. A short book, but packed with many teachings and reminders that God’s grace is indeed amazing and bountiful.