Recently, I listened to a message about Jonah by Priscilla Shirer titled Life Interrupted. It prompted me to study the book of Jonah again. I thank God for the opportunity to share God’s word with you again. I’m trusting God that you will be blessed.
The Story of Jonah
God didn’t only want to interrupt Jonah’s life but also wanted to teach him about He’s mercy. Jonah was a prophet in the bible but the whole book was not centered on he’s prophesies like other books written by about prophets. It only tells he’s story. In fact, just one verse summarizes he’s message to the people of Nineveh. Jonah 3:4;
Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” NIV
Nineveh was the capital of evil Assyria. God wanted the people to know Him and it was Jonah’s job to tell them. Before now, I used to think Jonah didn’t want to go there just because he was scared. It’s interesting to know that he had another reason in Jonah 4:1-2;
“Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness!” MSG
The people of Nineveh had done so much evil that Jonah really wanted God to destroy them. Perhaps you have seen movies where there is a particular character who has done so much havoc to others. And all you wish in the end is to see the character pay dearly for all he’s evil doings. Jonah became very angry that he couldn’t think straight anymore. He even asked God to kill him. Jonah 4:3-4.
Jonah knew that God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger and full of kindness. He knew God would cancel He’s plans of destroying the people if they repented.
God had to patiently teach him a lesson in Jonah 4: 5 -11. God showed him that the lives of 120,000 Ninevites mattered to him and not having some some shade that Jonah was also angry about.
The amazing thing for me also, is the way the people of Nineveh believed the message and immediately repented and declared a fast. Even their animals fasted! They put on sackcloth, cried their hearts to God and turned from their evil ways.
Seeing With the Eyes of Love
When Jonah thought of Nineveh, he only saw people who needed to be wiped out. But when God thought of Nineveh, He saw people who needed a chance to repent.
Don’t be afraid to preach the gospel to anyone. Including those who are like Nineveh in your life. Know that the message of salvation is for all and God is with you as you declare it.
Telling others about our relationship with God is an expression of love.
4 tips to share include;
- What you have learned in your walk with God.
- How you have responded to the gospel.
- What difference knowing God has made in your life.
- How they too can know him.
Its OK to be a little scared about preaching the gospel, but don’t let fear stop you. Even Jonah knew that prayer would make him bolder. Jonah came through for God, and so will you!
I love you. Remain blessed. Shalom!
What are your thoughts on this topic, The Story of Jonah? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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