Hi dear Friend,
Greetings to you in Jesus name.
The other day a very good friend of mine asked me “What do you learn from Jonah’s life?” I begin to think and prayed about it; today I would like to share those things we can learn from the life of Jonah.
Hope this will be a blessing to you and also help my friend to understand the book of Jonah.
God found a man called Jonah:
One of the things that amaze me is that God always had His man in every generation. For God to do something and display His power, He always had His man. Now God had a plan for the people of Nineveh, in ordered for that plan of God to come to pass, He chooses Jonah.
Who is Jonah?
Jonah was the person who worshipped the Lord God of heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in it. He was a Hebrew! Jonah 1:9.
The reason God choose you is because He has a plan in your life and He want to fulfill His plan through your life. You are in His will not by chance! Are you the one for this generation?
God reveals His plan to Jonah:
The God whom we worship and serve is the God who loves to reveal Himself and His plan to us. I am tired of people who coat 1 Cor 2:9: No eye has seen, no ear had heard and no mind has understood what God has in stored for those who love Him. But they forget verse 10; it says But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit!
What was God’s plan for Jonah? To go and preach. Jonah 1:2, 3:2. God keeps reminding us until we do what He has called us to do!
If God has called you to do something, He first tell you and He reminds you again and again probably He will confirm the same with His chosen people or in dreams and visions. But the challenge is, do you understand that it is from God. Be available to Him, say YES to Him. Do you know the purpose for which you have been created?
Though Jonah ran from God, God knows how to bring him back:
God had told Jonah to go to Nineveh but he headed to Tarshish. Jonah 1:3 Jonah might have few good reasons why he is heading towards Tarshish, but that’s not what God had for him.
Probably Jonah might have thought I will go to Tarshish and do the thing God had told me to do, but that’s not what he was called for. Doing things in the place where God called you and doing at that time matters.
Though you run from God He knows how to bring you back. God had to send great wind and violent storm against the ship in which he was traveling. Jonah 1:4. Every time you run from God, you run into a storm. Because of one man all the sailors were in trouble, they had to throw cargo into the sea to lighten the boat.
Jonah’s disobedience cost his fellow sailors; your disobedience will cost the people who are associated with you. You are called to be a blessing to everyone who comes in contact with you.
If God tells you to do something don’t delay! Late obedience is also equal to disobedience! Be quick to obey! Do you want to do what God has called you to do?
Jonah was ready to take risk:
The sailors were in panic, they tried all their best to control the ship; the more they controlled the more worse it became. Because they didn’t understand that they were controlling against God and His plan.
The sailors threw the cargo, everyone prayed to their gods but nothing happened. When they asked Jonah, he didn’t defend himself but told the truth that all that was happening was because of him and also told what to do so that the sea will become calm, wind and storm die.
Jonah was honest enough to tell them the truth that all the storms and wind is because of him. If had options to say no to whatever was happening but Jonah didn’t!
We should have guts to accept our mistake and ready to take whatever comes our way because of our mistakes. He was ready to be thrown into the sea because of his disobedience! Jonah didn’t think about himself but about God and the purpose of God through his life and also about the people who were on board. This was the sign of repentance!
Stop being selfish and start to be God oriented and care about the people whom God brings your way! Are you willing to take risk and be honest?
God protects Jonah in the sea:
Did Jonah get scared when they threw him of the ship? I don’t think so! While all the sailors were in panic because of the storm and the wind, Jonah was in deep sleep. Jonah 1:5 He was not bothered! Actually he was the one who gave them the advice to be thrown into the sea. Jonah 1:12
Jonah knew His God; He knew God would protect Him. He knew that it was His God who made the heavens and earth and the sea and everything in them. He knew that the water will not kill him because God whom he worshiped is the God of it!
God provides a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah 1:17. God can do a supernatural thing to keep you safe and God used the ship as the means of transport for Jonah to reach the place where he is supposed to reach. God commanded the fish to vomit on dry ground and it did. Jonah 2:10. Even fish was obedient to God’s command but the person who knew God didn’t! Are you obedient?
When God gives you a mission, He will also provide all the provision to see it come to pass. Whatever God promises in your life, it will come to pass; nothing and no one can stop you from reaching your destiny! Will you trust God completely?
Jonah prayed to God:
As soon as Jonah was thrown into the sea, if he doesn’t know to swim he will die in few min, if he does know to swim, he will die in few hours but if he is entered mouth of a fish and landed in its belly he should die in few seconds. But God kept him safe!!
Jonah prayed to God from the belly of the fish. Jonah 2:1. Jonah didn’t see the situation he is in, he is not worried about the oxygen in fish’s belly, he is not worried about his food and water but he remembered God.
We spend so much of our time is complaining, talk too much about the problems but Jonah didn’t. He offered thanksgiving to God even from fish’s belly.
When you can pray and give thanks to God in your situation, God will use that situation to bring you to the place you belong and show you how awesome He is! Will you pray to God?
Jonah obeyed God:
God prepared Jonah in the belly of the great fish, when he came out. He realized what God had told him to do in Nineveh, Jonah obeyed God. Jonah 3:2.
As God prepared Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh, so God had also prepared the hearts of the people to receive the word of God.
He proclaimed for 40 days, Nineveh was overturned. They believed in God, they turned from their wicked ways from the least to the greatest they sat in sackcloth with complete fasting. Jonah 3:4-5.
All Jonah had to do was to go and preach the message God gave him. When you too just go and do what God has called you to do, He will do what He had promised to do.
Are you doing what God called you to do?
God is compassionate, Jonah is upset:
When the people turned from their wicked ways, God has compassion on the people of Nineveh. Jonah 3:8. God is not bothered about the sins that they have committed as individual and as city, when they look to God, He has compassion on them.
It is God’s will that none should perish. The heaven rejoices at one person who repents and turns to God. Here is a man of God who is upset!
You should take pleasure in everything God is doing, whether you like it or not! At the end of the day it’s not about you but God and His people.
Jonah cannot see this; he was upset so much that he doesn’t want to live but to die. Jonah 4:3, 8. When God chooses to forgive and have compassion on someone do you have any option to be upset than to say, Lord your will be done!
God’s used Jonah to bring the people of Nineveh back to Himself, now Jonah is upset.
Sometimes God uses you to bring someone to the Lord and God chooses to show his love, compassion, grace and forgiveness, do you feel the way Jonah felt? Instead Jonah should be happy that God used him to save his enemies from eternal death and to bring them to their creator! Are you rejoicing at someone’s blessing or upset?
If God is concerned about the great city of Nineveh, how much more is his concern about the whole earth! He loves us all!
Conclusion: Don’t run away from God and His plan, He is loving and compassionate! Love Him and love the people around you the way God would.
If you have thing to add to this, please feel free to share with us, we would love to hear from you.
God bless you,
With much love,
Jeevan n Leena
Jonah, God, Compassion, Gospel, God’s will.