Let me start by saying I don’t have a religious bone in my body. Well, maybe one or two. I do consider myself a very spiritual woman on a continued search for greater insight. Neither am I a bible thumper. My grandmother used to read the book of Jonah to me all the time when I was a little girl. The bible story is just as real to me today as it was when I was a child. I have found myself in the belly of the beast more times than I wish to admit.
The story of Jonah and the whale intrigues me, I see myself as Jonah. So many times I have been disobedient to God when He gives me a direction. Sometimes I just flat out tell God no, as Jonah did. Jonah argued with God about going to the city of Nin-e-veh to warn the people to get their act together, that great city had become corrupt. Jonah tried to take a boat to another town, running as we sometimes do to escape ourselves. Jonah probably wouldn’t have gone to the city of Nin-e-veh had those people on the boat not thrown him off fearful for their own lives.
That’s the same way with association; we must be very careful who we associate ourselves with. The people on the boat knew bad things were happening to them through association with someone on that boat. Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and he was afraid. He prayed hard.
“Oh Lord, if you get me out of this whale I will go to Nin-e-veh and anywhere else you send me, I will go,”
Jonah pleaded. I often times find myself trying to make deals with God. Get me out of this situation and I will go to church every Sunday and give ten percent of my earnings. I still haven’t held up my end of the bargain, sadly, but God has.
Jonah fussed God out the entire way to the city of Nin-e-veh. Jonah did not want to go! Even after being spit out of the whale he was still fussing with God about having to go there. We can fuss God out if we want, He can handle our temper tantrums. Jonah was so angry he told God to take his life. God simply said very calmly, “it does you no good to be angry,” God is merciful, gracious and slow to anger.
God used Jonah to plant a seed in the people of Nin-e-veh’s hard heads. After Jonah warned them, the people in the city cried out to God. He promised to destroy the city but changed his mind. God gives us opportunities to repent, to make our wrongs right. He can turn a hopeless situation into something beautiful, He’s God
It doesn’t matter how bad we think we are God will send someone to help. Although Jonah was not obedient, he was stubborn and did what he wanted, God still used him. So don’t look at the messenger because God will use anything or anybody to save his sheep, he loves us (me.)
Jonah had been disobedient, got bum-rushed by the men on the boat. They tossed him over; he had been swallowed by a whale, in the belly of the beast for 3 days worrying if he would ever see the light of day. You all know how we get ourselves in situation and try and pray our way out at the last minute. The whale finally spit Jonah out where he washed up on the sea. He traveled to Nin-e-veh a three day hike on foot. Jonah was tired.
Jonah went through all that and still had to go to Nen-e-veh to warn the people. God knew Jonah needed a break and instantly grew him a tree for shade. God will not give us more than we can bear. Of course, after all Jonah had been through he went to sleep. When he awoke in the morning, it was hot as chicken grease outside and there was a sand storm. God sent a worm to destroy the tree he had given Jonah for shade. Jonah was so hot he fainted and started fussing God out again. (Jonah 4:9) Jonah said, “Just kill me, I will be angry with you as long as I want, till the day I die.”
This is a great story, a little mercy is better than no mercy at all. I fuss with God all the time, I am learning sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. When given a direction from the all mighty God, I better listen, before I find myself in the belly of the beast, again.