Jonah is such a small little book containing only 4 chapters, but with a BIG message. A message of obedience. The word of the Lord came to Jonah and said ” Go To the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because it’s wickedness has come up before me￼￼, But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord￼.” Jonah 1:1-3 Here we stand at the port where Jonah came to board the boat to Tarshish.
As I stood there looking out upon the water, I thought, the port of decision￼ and how I could easily relate to what Jonah was feeling. God Sometimes calls you to difficult tasks. These tasks are out of your comfort zone￼. It would be easy to follow the desires of the flesh, but that would be a path of disobedience. As we all stood there, there was silence. I think many of us were in a season of decision making, transition. Finally, our teacher spoke to us and said: “God has a call on your life. A direction you should go. Don’t fight it. It’s easier God’s way the first time”. These words pierced our being. The story goes on to say that “The Lord sent a great wind on the sea and a violent storm arose” doing things our way can create a massive storm. It can send us down a path of circumstances instead of blessings. During the storm Jonah was found sleeping. Our teacher said that ones that are running away from God’s will spend a lot of time sleeping. The story goes on to say that Jonah directed the men on the ship to throw him overboard and the storm would calm, and it did. God commanded a big fish to swallow Jonah and he remained in the belly of the fish for three days. During his time in the belly he prayed and repented to God. Then the Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah on to dry land. Then guess what? Jonah goes to Nineveh, brings the message of the Lord, and the people turn from their evil ways. ￼￼What great compassion God showed Jonah and the people of Nineveh. I am also comforted that there is a message of second chances in this story.
So what has God commanded you to do? Sometimes He calls us to difficult assignments, but He promises to always be with us. The moral of the story is we must surrender, and follow God’s direction or we might get swallowed up by a big fish!
Fish statue by the Port