Thursday, November 07, 2013
If Jonah were alive today, we would diagnose him with depression and probably suffering from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome. After receiving God's call to go and preach to Nineveh, he tried to run from his calling and from God. In essence, Jonah resigned from the ministry! As long as things were going good for him, Jonah did great. It was not too difficult to preach what everyone wanted to hear. Jonah lacked faith in God's ability to protect him and he (Jonah) had judged the Ninevites and found them deserving of destruction. So Jonah left his home, family, friends, and most of all, his ministry and took off for parts unknown. But, God sought to restore fellowship to him, as He does today. All we must do is simply and honestly repent of the sin, confess it as sin to God, and He promises to forgive and help us keep from continuing in that sin. (2 John 1:9).
So, why had Jonah thought of the Ninevites in such a negative light. I read an article that said, “One Assyrian king reported that when he captured a city he skinned the leaders of the city and publicly displayed their skins, he impaled others on stakes, he cut off the arms and legs of others, and others he sealed up alive in a wall. Among the average citizens he cut off ears, noses, fingers, and poked out eyes. He burned young men and women.”
Given what I just told you about this Assyrian king, would you have had the same reaction as Jonah had to witness to them? In today’s age, how willing would you be to witness to a man who had brutally kidnapped, raped, and killed several children?
If God is reaching out to Jonah, why are so many other innocent people (the sailors) involved? Sometimes bad things happen to us because God wants us to become closer to Him, and sometimes they happen simply because we live in a sinful world. The sailors are a lot like of us. Unfortunately, sometimes something terrible has to happen to us for us to consider our relationship with God. Why do you think the sailors tried to row to land rather than throw Jonah overboard at first? Perhaps God was trying to teach them not to depend upon themselves. Has this ever happened to you? You have a problem in your life, but instead of turning to God, you try to work it out yourself. Then, as a last resort, you turn to God. The sailors can teach us an important lesson. We should obey God even though we are uncertain. They were not only saved from the storm, but possibly for an eternity.