Story of Jonah, take 495,873,297,350,983.2
The story of Jonah has pretty much been beat to death since we were little kids but what I love about God is He is always bringing fresh insights to old stories.
I want to take a look at Jonah’s time on the boat to Tarshish. Jonah was in sin, he was disobeying God. When the lots were cast to see who was to blame for the storm they fell on Jonah and he was demanded to explain himself. He told the sailors he was running from God.
One version says the sailors cried out against Jonah. Sound familiar? People are always there to cry out against you when you are in sin and when you disobey. Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard and they did believing he would die.
We are surrounded by those people who cry out against us every time we are in sin or disobedience and would gladly throw us overboard to save themselves even if it means we will die.
What those sailors didn’t know was that the same God who turned the wind and the waves against them had a miraculous plan for Jonah. He sent a great fish to save him.
What I find interesting is there was no one there to see it. No one saw the fish swallow Jonah. The sailors lived the rest of their lives believing they had killed Jonah to save themselves.
When Jonah was in the belly of the fish repenting to God, no one there to see it. He didn’t tweet to his followers that God was dealing with him from inside the belly of a fish. He didn’t update his FB status or Instagram a photo from inside the fish. No one knew. Everyone thought he was dead.
When the fish was compelled by God to spew him up on land, there wasn’t a crowd waiting for him. No one even knew. There he was picking himself up out of fish vomit thanking God he was still alive and there was no great reception. No party. No one waiting there with towels and clean water. It was just Jonah, smelly and alone.
You see people will always be there to throw you overboard but rarely will anyone be there when you choose to be obedient and return to righteousness. If you go further into the story the only people the Bible mentions that knew that Jonah was not dead were sinners. The people of Nineveh who Jonah didn’t want to preach to begin with were the only people that knew he wasn’t dead.
The only people that care if you are living in obedience are those God called you to serve. Don’t try and impress the people that thought they killed you.