Greetings to all in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Often when we read Bible stories, we are amazed at how God helps us to understand His true nature through the character, heroism and failures of Biblical heroes.

But what I like, about the book Jonah, is God's eternal love and faithfulness. God’s perfect work through imperfect people. 

1) God of Israel saving Israel's deadliest enemy.

  • God sends Jonah to the people of Nineveh.
  • The People were Gentiles, but it shows God’s desire to save all mankind. 
  • Nineveh, The great city, was the deadliest enemy of Israel. 
  • Yet God of Israel wants them to repent and be saved.
  • "He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalms 103-10)"
  • Our Lord isn't a Lord of destruction but God of Blessings. 
  • He does not believe in the eradication but in Edification.

2) Jonah disobeys God.

"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa".

  • What made Jonah disobey God's word? 
  • Jonah was a person whose facts were so clear and who had a firm faith in God's existence and in His true nature. How? Let's see.
* "I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. (Jonah 1:9)"
* "For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD because he had told them. (Jonah 1:10)"
* "Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. (Jonah 1:12)"

  • We know we worship Lord, The Creator. 
  • We know we flee from Lord's presence because we want to stick to our own terms.
  • We also know that part of our affliction and sorrows is a consequence of our sin and we need to repent.

But like Jonah, we would rather sink in the depths of the ocean than to cry out to the Lord!

3) God teaches Jonah obedience.

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart... (Proverbs 16:5)".
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)"

  • Jonah might have a desire to be a great prophet. 
  • He might have thought,”what if I just cry out against Nineveh, they repent, God forgives...then???
  • What about me? 

What if one out of the 1,20,000 people in Nineveh think that he is not a good prophet? 

But here we see our Lord's love!

He not only forgives Nineveh-the ignorant! but also Jonah-the reluctant.

4) God saves Mariners.

"Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. (Jonah 1:16)".
  • Mariners, here, are portrayed as good people. 
  • They pray to their gods. 
  • They don't want to kill Jonah.
  • They offered prayer before throwing him.
  • And the most important part, the moment God revealed His Glory to them; they received it and worshiped him."
  • These men were also Gentiles, but we can see that they were men seeking the Lord:

5) God uses the whale to save Jonah

He did not prepare it to destroy him but to preserve him. The great fish was not a punishment but a shelter. Jonah was safer and more comfortable in the belly of the whale than if he were still in the ship struggling against the waves and the sea, and against fatigue, cold and the wind. This whale was sent by God to carry out the Divine will entrust to it-HH Pope Shenouda III

Let us put ourselves before our Lord, as humble obedient and faithful servants of the One True God, seeking to hear the message that He desires to give to the world through us.


Mathew said...

thank you Anu Thomas for sharing this detailed Blissful and worthy posting about Jonah's Reluctance... A beautiful presentation.. God Bless..