Read Jonah 1
Jonah commissioned; his effort to avoid God's will; prayer of Jonah; second commission; Nineveh repents; Jonah's displeasure.
For I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (Jonah 4:2).
Nineveh, the city where God told Jonah to preach was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which at that time, dominated the world. It had oppressed many people, including the Jews. So Jonah was probably delighted with the good news that the city would be destroyed.
As believers, we should always remember the value of the soul. We should never let our prejudices hinder the work of God. We are created equal in the sight of God. Racism has no place in God's Kingdom. If we intend to be Christ-like, we cannot judge mankind on the basis of nationality or race. If these feelings are in your heart, you should repent and ask God to give you love for mankind as He has. He wants the same for every man and woman on the face of the earth, that they come to a place of repentance and accept the free gift of salvation. For there is no respect of persons with God (Rom. 2:11).
Jonah knew God wanted him to go to Nineveh, but he wasn't willing to obey. Jonah made the mistake of believing he could avoid God. The only thing a man gains from his flight from God is trouble, and more trouble. This is not the anger of a harsh God, but rather the dealings of a merciful Father who is not willing that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9).
When Jonah refused to go to Nineveh, God could have chosen another prophet and let Jonah sink to a watery grave. But God patiently dealt with him through a series of gracious acts, teaching him the importance of obedience, and Jonah did go to Nineveh as God had commanded him.
Thank God that He is a God of second chances to both sinner and servant alike. Jonah could have missed seeing this nation turn to God. However, God had chosen him to be the man to see it happen, so God kept maneuvering Jonah in the direction of Ninevah. The Lord will send you where He wants to. We do not choose our calling. We should just feel blessed to be called. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (II Tim. 1:9).
To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts (Heb. 3:15).
Thought for Today:
Submission to God brings deliverance from the judgment of God.
By Jonah's experience in the great fish (Jon. 1:7 — 2:10). Jesus used this historical event as an illustration to tell of His death, burial, and resurrection when the Pharisees demanded a sign from Him (Matt. 12:39-41; also I Cor. 15:3-4).
2:2 hell in O.T. 31 times (from Sheol, used about 65 times), to hide, cover, or the grave. In the N.T. Jesus used hell (from Hades, Gehenna) to explain an after-death place of torments (Matt. 8:29; Luke 16:23,28; Rev. 14:10; 20:10); 2:8 lying vanities, worthless idols, false worship; 3:10 God repented, He was grieved; 4:5 booth, shelter; 4:8 vehement, scorching.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by A. Joan Joy • Staff: Rick Hash • Country: Tuvalu (11,000) nine islands in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: Tuvaluan and English • Religious freedom • 92% Protestant; 5% Baha'i; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: In times of trouble, pray and seek comfort in the Word of God (Ps. 119:50).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:12