“In my great trouble I cried to the Lord and He answered me; from the depths of death I called, and Lord, You heard me!”
– Jonah 2:2
God called Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh that they faced certain destruction if they refused to repent of their sins. Jonah wanted God to destroy them; he didn’t want to see their people repent and receive God’s forgiveness, so Jonah boarded a ship and headed in the opposite direction. You see, God’s ways aren’t always our ways. God gave Jonah a message that he didn’t want to hear, much less obey. It didn’t matter that the people of Nineveh were the enemies of Israel, God’s compassion and forgiveness are for everyone. In the end, Jonah would have rather died than see his enemies be delivered. It took Jonah three days in the belly of the whale to realize that he needed to follow God’s plan for his life. Jonah tried to do things his own way, and that way meant he had to suffer some consequences.
Even though Jonah quit on God, God never gave up on Jonah. God used numerous object lessons — a storm, a great fish, a large bush, a small worm, and a scorching wind — to teach Jonah about compassion and forgiveness. In spite of Jonah’s resistance to God’s call, God used him to save the lives of 600,000 Ninevites. 120,000 of these were innocent children.
It didn’t matter that the people of Nineveh were the enemies of Israel, God’s compassion and forgiveness are for everyone.
We all have the same choice Jonah did. We can do things God’s way and receive His help and blessing, or we can do things our way and suffer the consequences. So when you are tempted to drag your feet or pout when life doesn’t go your way, God is patient with us. In the end, rather than running from God, we need to run to God. He sees the big picture, He is in control and He will walk with us all the way.
Confession for today: “Jesus, I make the choice to run toward all that You have for me, knowing You see the big picture for my life. I know that in doing so You will cover and protect me through every circumstance. Please use me for Your plan and purpose, in all that I do.”
Living for Today,