Jonah 1–4: Do you ever feel like God is telling you to do something and in your reluctance you are hesitant. Maybe you have even just not done it or even done the opposite. If this describes you, you have a twin in the Bible. Jonah also knew God was leading him to go to Nineveh and because of his reluctance to obey he ended up as sushi for a fish. Not only did Jonah not obey, but he headed the exact opposite direction.
We can laugh about his story today, but in his lifetime it was anything but funny as he swam around in seaweed in the middle of a big fish’s belly. The crew of the ship was greatly distressed when they were forced to throw him overboard, but when the storm grew still after he was gone, they knew they had done what needed to be done.
In the belly of the fish Jonah had a change of heart direction. He knew his disobedience had caused his calamity and it was time for a heart change. His feet had led him a wrong direction, but his real problem was his heart that was still filled with anger toward the people God wanted to save. Jonah changed his heart attitude and the fish got a belly ache and threw him up. YUCK!
Jonah was not happy about his new direction, but he was obedient. That may be where God finds us at times. Our right walking begins with a determination that no matter how I feel about it I will walk where God sends. There are some great results to Jonah’s preaching. Many repented and turned back to God. For most people that would have made them happy. Jonah was not most people and his hatred for those who turned still soured his spirit.
Hatred will do that for us. It sours us. It makes us feel sorry for ourselves, and in the end it reminds us that God is still in charge, worms and all.
Maybe the take away today is to remind us to check our hearts and let hatred go. Maybe it is to check our steps and make sure we are headed in the right direction. Whatever the message is for you today, I just pray in the end you don’t smell like fish guts. 🙂