Jonah is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25 and is very likely a strong patriot of the nation Israel. As a result, he finds it an odious task to preach repentance to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, the country which is one day to conquer Israel. Rather than go on this errand of mercy, Jonah chooses to hurry to the seaport at Joppa for the fastest transit in the opposite direction. This is a commission that will not be denied, however, and God causes him to be swallowed by a great fish in which Jonah wisely repents and subsequently carries the warning message to Nineveh. The people of Nineveh repent—as Jonah feared—and the nation is preserved as an instrument of judgment for Israel almost 100 years later.
God’s ways are above our ways, and we praise Him for His wisdom:
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness (Psalm 48:9-10).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me (Psalm 51:1-3).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
-- A stronger desire to be like Christ
-- Churches across the nation
-- Your activities for the day
Finally, offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
To the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17)