Jonah slipped outta God’s directive and wound up jailed, in a fish; cried out for God’s help, became fish-disgorge, bleached and beached, opted to go preach, saved the Ninevites nation. What can we learn?
Folks squirm outta life daily only to enter self-incarceration; self-reproach, fright, despondency. These we try to lighten with encouragement; sometimes these hide away, we lose touch with them.
Through probation, prison, parole, or local jail, 6.7 million Americans wear the dregs of cement and bars — 2.7% of adult population or 1 out of every 37 Americans have been sent “up the river,” (as of 2015). What’s up with these? — Scott Rasmussen reports.
Some questions crop up: did not God throw a mighty tempest toward Jonah’s run-away boat and sailor friends? Did the bloody blokes not become suspicious of Jonah? Did they not, in turn, throw the fugitive overboard? Let’s review:
- So far, Jonah ducked his call by running,
- handled his “stormy boat misfortune” by volunteering to die.
- got dunked, but his bad rap got even worse? God prepared a fish!
And now the big question: does this sequence of events happen to others?
let’s check Jonah“s next state of mind–Jon 2:3-6
“out of the belly of hell cried I.” “I am cast out of thy sight.” “When my soul fainted within me.” “the weeds were wrapped about my head.” ” I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever.”
More dire than dying, eaten alive by a gargantuan of the sea, we observe, “I remembered the Lord.”” yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.”
Somehow, I feel that I would have done the same. So what’s next?
- the LORD came unto Jonah the second time.
- “go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach”
- So Jonah arose, and went.
Darn it, God saved the city!
Well, well, didn’t Jonah have to eat his own words and plan!!?? This guy wanted nothing of Nineveh’s salvation plan. They were horrendously bad people.
Here we have another clue!
Do precious fellows stew in their conundrum because of a hardened refusal to allow God to reveal mercy to some other bad people?
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” He goes on, “for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.”
“take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” Really? After all he had come through?
Wow! Who needed more mercy, Jonah or Nineveh?
Friends, there is hope for all in God’s gracious mercy.
- I don’t wanna go, there is a grace plan for you.
- I wish to die, there is mercy for you.
- I don’t want to die, there is grace for you.
- I will now go, there is grace for you.
- I am angry at the results, there is kindness for you.
“And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. “
Can we imagine a more forgiving, loving God?
So, why the depression, why the pain, why anguish and despair? I tell you, if we attempt humbling ourselves, we will discover God to be gracious.
Believers, forgive, take a que from God’s mercy, receive it and distribute it abroad. Please turn unto the Lord and be saved, ye unbelievers.
Oh I forgot, Jonah got angry again when the gourd shriveled up. And God was again, you guessed it, kind and merciful.
God’s final words go this way, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six-score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? ”
God awaits for our jailed friends and uses our freed selves to help em. Jonah 2:8 warns us “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. ” It’s ours, fellows, don’t forsake it.
Thank you Lord!