Tuesday, 4 August 2020 Jonah 2:1-10
“Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God …...” – Jonah 2:1
The book of Jonah is a testimony of God’s sovereign authority over all creation. All creation obeys Him. In this book, God’s control over nature is demonstrated by the wind, sea, fish, vine and worm obeying His command. Amazing to see how God used all of His creation— including Jonah, to bring to repentance the people in the great city of Nineveh! Mark 4:41 says, “… even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Colossians 1:16 says, “All things have been created through Him and for Him” and Col.1:17 says "in Him all things hold together."
2 Kings 14:25 speaks of Jonah as a prophet of God from Gath Hepher whom God used, to deliver His message to King Jeroboam II. Jonah had seen God’s mercy at work through His dealing with King Jeroboam. But Jonah noticed that it didn’t change the wicked king and hence Jonah might have concluded that showing mercy to wicked people will not change them! However, God’s sovereignty prevails over man’s prejudice!
Although Jonah as a prophet was able to perceive God’s message clearly, his prejudice caused him to overlook the divine mandate. So Jonah’s fleeing to Tarshish was an intentional act fuelled by his own prejudice! The Ninevites were Assyrians, known for their cruelty! Jonah wouldn’t mind even being killed (since he had asked the sailors to throw him into the sea) but he could not stand to see wicked people taking advantage of God’s mercy! [Adapted from: Unlocking the Bible by David Pawson]. Hence we understand Jonah’s hesitation to go to Nineveh when God first asked him to.
It is the picture of many believers today who do not take God’s call on their lives seriously to bring His message to the lost. John 17:2 says God has given the authority of all flesh to Jesus Christ so that He may give eternal life to them! In Acts 18:10 the LORD spoke to Paul “I have many people in this city” (of Corinth)! The whole people on the earth are God’s creation and God loves them. Hence God wants all people to turn from their wickedness and turn to Him! (Acts 17:30) Like Jonah God will send people to preach the good news of His forgiveness!! (Romans 10:11-15). “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14 NLT)
Jonah’s refusal to go to Nineveh did not deter God from executing His will – He gave Jonah a second chance and commanded him again to go to the same place! (Jonah 3:1-2). But in order for God to reinstate Jonah to his divine purpose, Jonah had to repent and pray. Our key verse tells us that Jonah prayed from the stomach of the fish. He realized his mistake and as he prayed, he gained the confidence in God’s deliverance: “….For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.” (Jonah 2:9 NLT). No matter where you are or whatever situation you find yourself to be, God will hear you if you earnestly seek Him!
Like Jonah there are many vision-bearers who failed to complete God’s mandate over their lives because of prejudice!! They have fallen – but today God is speaking to them to come back to take up the call on their lives. Pray at the place of your fall and do not be late! God will hear you and restore you. And then you will find the joy in the fulfilment of God’s call over you!
To Act On: Will you heed to the voice of the Holy Spirit and pray for God’s restoration to your calling?