By Joseph Ametepe
The story of Jonah is a thriller from start to finish. In it, God's love and sovereign control over the nations are revealed. No Bible book more fully and freshly illustrates God's compassion on undeserving sinners. We learn from the book of Jonah that God's desire is to show mercy and grace to the peoples of the world who turn to Him in genuine repentance at the preaching of His word. More than seven hundred years before Christ, God commissioned a Hebrew prophet to carry a message of repentance to a Gentile people on a Gentile soil It was the first time such a thing had ever happened in Israel's history. The book also teaches us God's sovereignty over all creation. He stirred up the storm at sea. He also stilled it. He directed the big fish to swallow up His runaway prophet and to spit him out. He caused a plant to grow to give a shade for His sulky prophet. He also caused it to wither to the displeasure of His raging prophet. He directed the scorching east wind to blow. It was at His orders that the sun rose and blazed, causing angry Jonah to faint. Indeed, God is sovereign over all creation.
We learn from the book that God will do everything in His power to steer His servant to where He wants him to go, even if that includes leading a high-speed chase at high-seas and a messy vomiting scene at seashore. Important spiritual lessons about the opening verses of the book of Jonah includes God's:
- Control over the nations.
- Commands are non-negotiable.
- Clarity in communicating His purpose to His servants.
- Complete awareness of what is happening in the nations.
These lessons are presented in the current unedited messages on Jonah 1:1-3. Also, these messages reveal quite a lot about God's believing people today. It shows like Jonah, we also run away from God. We rebel against His will for our lives. We resist His plan, especially when it doesn't coincide with what we want to do. Often, like Jonah, we are reluctant to follow the path God has laid out before us. We display rage at God..
The purpose of presenting these messages is to challenge us to commit our hearts afresh to obeying God's word to us, without dilly-dallying, dragging our feet, delaying, or discussing the issue with Him when He's made Himself very clear to us. Let's submit humbly to God's word to us by readily obeying Him, thus giving Him the honor and glory due His high and holy name. May the Holy Spirit use these messages to bring us to a deeper level of obedience to Jesus Christ, the "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16b)!