The Book of Jonah, although written in 760 B.C., is a reminder for us in 2017 to follow the commands of God with the right attitude. In these four short chapters, we learn that Jonah turns down God’s assignment to travel approximately 500 miles Northeast to Nineveh, to preach a simple message that will save its 120,000 inhabitants, and instead attempts to flee from God approximately 2,000 miles west to Tarshish.
Jonah, a prophet of God, whose name literally means “dove,” was hand-selected by God to deliver a message of repentance to the Ninevites. Although the preaching is a success (chapter 4), Jonah comes away angry and discouraged and must learn firsthand of God’s compassion for sinful men.
Jonah’s actions are documented as follows:
Chapter 1 – Disobedience causes us to run from God (verses 1-5); others know that you are not operating in God’s will (verses 8-10); and the consequences will certainly come (verse 17).
Chapter 2 – He prayed because of his disobedience and God delivered him.
Chapter 3 – A second chance is extended to obey God’s command. Our actions can lead to change, repentance and saving of lives.
Chapter 4 – God made Jonah check his attitude.
When we choose to obey God’s Word, He will always provide the vision and provision so that success, favor and grace will follow. Perhaps not when you want or expect, but always in His timing.
Prayer: Gracious Father, teach me to obey your Word and instructions with the right motive and attitude. Use me to proclaim your mercy and goodness even when I am reluctant, scared or feel unworthy. Amen.