Jonah was visited by God, Himself, and was told to go preach to Nineveh. That visit from God should have been enough for any normal person to immediately obey. Did Jonah? Nope. Not at all. He ran.
He did not want to go to Nineveh, a very-very sinful city. It was a large city because it was said it would take a person three days to walk across. He instead to jump into a ship to see if he could hide from God. Fat chance of that but he tried anyway.
After he boarded the ship, a storm came up and threatened to destroy the ship. What was Jonah doing? Sleeping.
Everyone else on this ship was crying out and praying to whatever god they chose to believe in. In desperation they woke up this sleeping person and asked him to pray to his god. He knew why the boat was in danger. He knew where the storm came from. He confessed to the crew that his God told him to do something, and he was running away. He also told the crew the only way to save the ship was to throw him overboard. They did not want to, but when the storm increased in strength, they had no choice. Overboard he went.
What happened next was not only remarkable but in my imagination totally yucky and gross. A fish, probably a whale, swallowed him whole. Now I don’t know about you but can you imagine the wild ride he had going from the sea into the mouth of this thing and sliding down the throat and into its stomach? Eeew. That would be the ultimate slime.
Now once he was in there, how would he stay afloat? My guess is this fish at some point in time swallowed a broken up ship and had pieces of wood that had not yet disolved and was just hanging out in there. So as one nearly hit him in the head with the water sloshing around (talk about sea sick) he grabbed onto it and hung on for dear life.
First miracle. He survived being swallowed by a fish. Second miracle. He was not being dissolved by stomach acids. It had to be dark in there except when the fish opened its mouth to eat something else. Even after all this, it took him three days to finally cry out with not only his voice but with his heart. He asked God for forgiveness for running away. He surrendered to the assignment he had been given. In this belly of a fish it still took time for his heart to change. Three whole days.
Then came the third miracle. God made the fish swim close to land and then – eew – the fish threw up – vomited, regurgitated – its stomach contents with Jonah in the middle of it onto the shore. I have seen a dog throw up and he has to work to get that done. Retching. Coughing. Yuk. So, I believe that this fish had to work up to it. It was probably the first time it had ever emptied his stomach contents onto land. So there was Jonah, on the shore, sitting in the middle of fish vomit. I wonder if he jumped back into the sea to wash off some of the yuck or just got up and said, “Not going back in there!”
So, Jonah walked to Nineveh. I don’t know how far away he was, but he walked. Dried off too. Hope he got to smelling better. When he got to Nineveh his message was short and sweet. “Repent because God is coming to destroy your city.” That is all that is recorded but it scared everyone like it was Covid19! Even the king of the city repented.
Jonah had given the message he was told to deliver. Secretly he was hoping, not for repentance, but a courtside seat to utter destruction. What a high he was looking forward to. He went a short distance from the city and waited for the end to come. He wondered if it would be like Sodom and Gomorrah? Would it be like the time God made the earth just open up and swallow all the people? He watched and he waited. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He could hear the people in the city repenting of their sins and God in His mercy did not destroy the city at this time. He would destroy it 900 years later.
Jonah was visited by God, ran away from God, got swallowed by a fish, got vomited out by a fish, and gave the message of destruction to a city. When destruction did not come to the city he did what? He cried out to God again and said, “Just kill me. I am so disappointed that there will not be a show to watch! Just let me die. So disappointed. You canceled the fireworks. I knew you would.”
Have you ever been a Jonah? Did God ever ask you to do something that you really really did not want to do? Did that thing He asked you to do make any sense at all? Have you run away from your assignment and run away from God? I mean really, like God is not going to find you? I have been there.
You would think that I would know better than to think I could run away from the King of the earth, the maker of the heavens, designer of galaxies, and I was going the hide from Him? Nope. Not going to happen. No place on the face of this earth can you hide from God that He cannot find you. And your assignment, should you choose to accept His assignment, He will give you all you need to be successful. You cannot hide. You cannot deter what God has put into motion for you to fulfill your destiny. You can either be slimed, or blessed. Your choice.
In Christ’s love, Kathy
Edited by Spark34
Pictures by Pixaby