Did you know that there is an Old Testament Bible story about a prophet named Jonah that can help us to better understand Who God is and just what God can do? Actually, there are five very important facts, or shall I say lessons, that are revealed in this saga when a person disobeys God and attempts to run from Him rather than to do what has been assigned to his or her hands.
Yes, a prophet is a man or woman selected by God to whom he reveals his divine message to and then they are to go and share the message with others. Sometimes the message is good news and sometimes it is bad news. Whichever it is doesn’t matter. The prophet or prophetess still must deliver the message even if it means the people will get so angry that they will want to kill him or her.
Sorry God, I don’t want to go!
Let’s focus: As you read in the Book of Jonah, you will see where God caused a great fish to perform like a submarine:
|But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. 1:17|
God caused a warring nation (Nineveh) to stop fighting long enough to listen attentively to a bed-time story as though they were little children:
|Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3:2|
God caused the Holy Spirit to indwell in the hearts and minds of the people of Nineveh so that they repented of their warring ways and thoughts of themselves as being ‘all that’ and a bag of chips!
|Jonah started into the city, going a day’s journey, and he proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be destroyed.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 3:4, 5|
God caused a plant to evolve into an umbrella to provide shade for a wayward messenger:
|Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 4:6|
God explained to a disobedient prophet with a noncontrite heart why his arms were too short to box with God:
|But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” 4:10, 11|
Let’s review the facts: The story of Jonah reveals that God alone is in control of the universe. He is the supreme Ruler and Judge over nature, events and peoples (including Jonah) everywhere at the same time.
Sorry Jonah, you lose. You can’s hit what you can’t see.
The Universal message is; Man’s arms are too short to box with God. It is better to obey than to sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22
Scripture Lesson: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
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