What I Read Today:
James 4-5; Acts 15; Jonah 3-4; Psalm 43; 1 Chronicles 24; Genesis 46
We all know the story of Jonah and the whale. It’s a Sunday School favorite. When we get to adulthood, we begin to doubt the story. We as ourselves, “How could someone survive three days inside of a fish?” Then a scientist will come out and tell us how it’s possible. And another will come out and say it can’t be. Arguments abound.
People will use this book to questions the validity of scripture. They’ll say the scripture is full of myths and fairy tales.
That’s because we’re focusing on the wrong thing. We’re focusing on the fish.
I think you could make three points regarding the book of Jonah.
First, when God gives us a command, he expects us to follow that command. That’s a relatively simple principle. But man is it hard to follow. More often than not, we run from God’s commandment. We deny his word and seek to live our lives our way. Of course, that’s when trouble strikes.
The second thing is that even when we run from God, he will always find a way to grab hold of us. When we’ve screwed something up and find ourselves lost in the darkness of our souls and minds, God will find us if we genuinely see God. That’s what Jonah did while inside the whale. He repented and turned back to God. God honored that and restored Jonah.
Finally, God’s plans do not necessarily, conform to our ideas. Now, this should be self-evident. Jonah was interested in preaching fire and brimstone and leaving these people to suffer an eternity in Hell. God, however, wants all men to be saved. God wants to grant grace and mercy to everyone. Jonah’s prejudice and hate demanded only justice. God’s love and compassion provided salvation.
It’s a good thing that we are on the receiving end of God’s grace and mercy and not Jonah’s anger. When we compare our hearts to God’s heart, isn’t it a good thing that he’s in charge and not us?