Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
The Word of the Lord has been spoken to all of us. “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.” If we are not busy about fulfilling that Word, then we are going away from the Word and we are fleeing as much as Jonah was. Whatever made Jonah think that he could flee from the presence of the LORD? Jonah knew God better than that. Jonah’s problem was between him and God, not between him and man. Jonah disagreed with God. God was making a way for mercy and Jonah was waiting to see judgment. Jonah refused to surrender his will in order to do God’swill, but never forget, God’s will, will be done! Jonah didn’t think these people deserved mercy! This is a great picture of the difference between God’s thinking toward man and man’s thinking toward man. What would this world be today if man were given the power of vengeance?
Jonah was not an unbeliever. He was not a worldly man, but he was a man of God whom God used to carry His word (II Kings 14:25). No man becomes so godly that he can play God in his own life or the lives of others and still think he can live his life separate from the will of God. I am amazed at the people who think they can be god of their own lives and still prosper. Run Jonah run, but you cannot get away from God!!!
SLEEP JONAH SLEEP
What happens to us when we turn from God? We lose our zeal and our strength and about all we are good for is sleep! Why get up? You can’t help anyone because you have lost your power. But wait a minute! Don’t you care about those you are causing to perish? They didn’t ask for you to get on their ship. If you don’t care about yourself, you sure will not care about others. Jonah forsook his mercy when he refused to show mercy to Nineveh. Now, not only was Nineveh days away from destruction, but every one on the boat was about to die, including Jonah. All Jonah had to do was repent and cry out to the Lord and the storm would cease, the waves would calm and they would be saved. Not Jonah! You see, Jonah knew that while he was disobedient, he was still God’s child. He knew his future was secure. He didn’t fear death. As a matter of fact, he would rather die than obey! Have you ever had a child like that? Sleep Jonah Sleep, but remember God is awake!
JUMP JONAH JUMP
Many of God’s prophets desired to die. Job begged God to take him. Elijah asked God to take him. There was nothing unusual about wanting to die. Sometimes living becomes very difficult, but God’s people did not turn to suicide. They knew better than to take their own lives. Jonah told the men to throw him overboard and they would be alright. Why wouldn’t Jonah just jump? If they threw him overboard, then they would be responsible for his death, not him! He could say to God, “I didn’t do it; they did!” We put the world in a terrible position when we depart from the will of God in our lives. These men thought more of Jonah’s life than he did. They fought to save his life, while he held the answer to their lives and would not do it. The world was showing mercy, while God’s man was merciless. What a reproach we are to the name of Christ when we disobey. Going overboard was not the only solution. There was a simple way to solve the problem. Every man on board cried out to their gods (who could not hear), but Jonah, the man who served the living God refused to pray! Jump Jonah Jump to obedience, not the water.
CRY JONAH CRY
As Jonah went overboard, he must have thought that he had gotten his way! He had chosen to die rather than obey. Surprise! Jonah never thought he would live. Jonah didn’t like living in the belly of the whale! He felt like he was out of God’s sight and his soul fainted, removing all strength and power from his life. He needed God! What a shame that we would have to come to a place like this before we would surrender and bow our knees to an Almighty God, who is our Father. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow!!! Wouldn’t it be better to bow out of obedience and receive, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” than to be forced to our knees?
Jonah cried out to God and prayed toward the Holy Temple. He knew to go to God’s house for help. That’s where the Lord was! God, in His mercy, commanded the whale to spit him out on the beach and gave him another chance to do the will of God and receive the blessings of God. Cry Jonah Cry with your whole heart and soul.
PREACH JONAH PREACH
Once again, the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh. He gave Jonah another chance to willingly do the will of God. Jonah went, but he didn’t like it! Jonah was now obedient in action, but not in spirit. They that worship God, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth! The Word of God was preached and profited the people of Nineveh, but it did not profit Jonah. Jonah knew what God had prophesied about Nineveh killing the Jews in later years and Jonah did not think God should let them live. His heart wasn’t in his preaching. Once again, it is the Word of God that works in the hearts of mankind, not the one who delivers the Word. Preach Jonah Preach, but forsake not mercy.
POUT JONAH POUT
What was Jonah’s problem? He knew God well. He knew that God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness and repents of the evil (destruction) when man’s works are right. Jonah enjoyed mercy in his life, but he resented God doing that for the sinners. Jonah forgot that he was a sinner just like them when God granted him mercy. Jonah forsook mercy!
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
How many of God’s children refuse to be merciful to others. A judgmental spirit is a spirit without mercy. God prepared a gourd, a worm and a vehement east wind and gave Jonah a lesson on mercy. God was still showing mercy to Jonah. God said, “Doest thou well to be angry?” Jonah declared that he was right to be angry. Jonah refused to say, “God, you are right and I am wrong.” How sad!
Those who are obedient children, go away rejoicing, taking their sheaves with them. Those who remain disobedient, go away empty and pouting!!!! What’s your spirit and where are your sheaves?
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Pout Jonah Pout and miss the blessings of God upon your life