Friday, January 29, 2010
Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In 40 days Ninevah will be overthrown!” The men of Ninevah believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth-from the greatest of them to the least. Jonah 3:4-5 HCSB
It may be thro’ the shadows dim, Or o’er the stormy sea, I take my cross and follow Him, wherever He leadeth me. B.B. McKinney*
As a child, I was captivated when I heard that Jonah refused to preach to the Ninevites, that he ran from God, was thrown into the sea, swallowed by a large fish, somehow managed to survive for three days, and was then vomited by the fish onto dry land. Now, I am amazed that it took Jonah three days to pray for help. He must have either really hated the Ninevites or had a serious death wish.
Jonah, even while he stood to preach, hated the Ninevites with a passion. I can imagine him simply quoting the verse above as his entire sermon. However, God used that simple message to save an entire city from destruction.
It’s easy to be hard on Jonah. But how many times are we guilty of not obeying God because of our own hatred, selfishness, or laziness?
Lord, help us to do what You want us to do when You want us to do it.
*Wherever He Leads I’ll Go