||:I haven’t been sleeping much. That’s why I am writing this sermons series at 2 am. Every night I find myself asking God, “why me?”. That question seems to always find its way back to the front of my mind. The answer that always comes back are two simple words, “you’ll see”. What does that mean?! I have been racking my brain and searching scripture trying to figure out the meaning behind those two cryptic words. As I read through Genesis 10 I come across one word, “Ninevah”. It was almost like bells went off it my head! I flipped my Bible to Jonah and began reading my life story. “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.“ (Jonah 1:1-3 KJV).
Jonah heard what the Lord said, but was afraid of the Lords mission for him. Because of his fear, Jonah gets up and flees from the Lord. My ears are open for the Lords words, but my heart is closed because I am scared to fully trust him. Because of my fear, I run from the Lord. I hide in my ship and remain there hoping I can live my life the way I want to live it. Well if you read on, you will see that is not the case. It continues on to say …”But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.” (Jonah 1:4-5 KJV).
This passage shows that as Jonah continues to ignore God, he effects others around him. As the men on the ship cried out to God, and tried to stop the ship from sinking, the only person that could stop this was Jonah. In my life I found this to be when my loved ones pray for guidance as I try to “get back on my path”. They are constantly crying out to God when I am the only one who can stop my ship from sinking.
As we skip to verse 9 we will see Jonah admitting his fear. …”And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.” (Jonah 1:9-10 KJV). They always say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. But sometimes you don’t want to admit the problem is that you fear the Lord, the Giver of Life!
After Jonah admits he fears the Lord, the men on the ship beg him to make the sea calm again.
And he tells them the only way is to cast him into the sea. Well I don’t know about you, but if my sibling ever said “Hey the only way mom is gonna get us all ice cream is if one of us do the dishes”, I’d be the first one to the sink without arguing, because in the end, we are both getting ice cream. Just like with Jonah. Yes he would have to been cast into the sea, but God didn’t want him dead. He just wanted to get his attention, Jonah was still going to get ice cream, he just had to do the dishes first.
Now as we read on we basically see Jonah’s punishment. In my mind it’s the Biblical equivalent to time out. It reads ..”Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” (Jonah 1:17-2:2 KJV). Jonah was given time to reflect on what has happened. This was basically God saying “think about what you’ve done and when
I come home we will talk about it”. My mom and I would get in fights and I would storm off to my room, like 13 year olds do when they don’t get their way. And I would sit in my bedroom for about an hour then I would cool off and realize how silly of an argument it was, but I never knew if she was mad at me, so I would write her a letter of apology and slide it under her door and wait”. God was waiting for Jonah to cool off so they could talk about God’s mission for him.
As we keep going we see that Jonah eventually apologizes for running. The Bible says “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.” (Jonah 2:10-3:3 KJV).
Jonah finally got up and went to Ninevah to teach the word of God to the people there. This is where
I am ending this “devotion” at the moment. My next entry will be about Jonah’s journey through Ninevah!:||