One day the [Lord] told Jonah, the son of Amittai, to go to the great city of Nineveh and say to the people, “The [Lord] has seen your terrible sins you are doomed!” Instead, Jonah ran from the [Lord]. (Jon 1:1-3a CEV).
Father we thank You for Your Word, and Your hidden Truths, whichYou desire to reveal to us. Make us sensitive to Your leading. Open our ears, to hear that which Your Spirit wishes to teach and tell us. Open our eyes to daily seek Your face. Direct also our steps, to walk in Your Way. Give us the understanding of the learned. Your Wisdom is also our urgent request and prayer of our hearts. We ask this in Jesus Name Amen!
The Run Away
Not the run away bride, rather the run away prophet.
Just briefly, on reading the opening chapter, we find the Lord called Jonah to go to Nineveh. Yet we see Jonah, buy a ticket to go in the opposite direction. He had been unwilling to go to a nation or people who are at enmity with Israel. The Lord gives the instructions, but sometimes; like Jonah, we may run away from the Lord’s instruction in His Word.
For the Lord knows His plans He has for us (see Jer 29:11-13). These plans are for our success; not to cause us to fail. He also will finish, complete the work which He started, within us. Sometimes we follow our own ideas, plans instead of His plans. Then as Jonah we tend to do an escape act, ie we run from Him.
Yet God is always Faithful and True, to His Word. He does not always let us go. He is patient and longsuffering, towards us. It’s not His will that any should perish. For our Lord; does not take pleasure, or delight in the death of the sinner, the wicked. He wishes every person to have a chance, to repentance, to hear the Good News of the Kingdom. He gives every chance for sinful man, the sinner, mankind, to receive His mercy, forgiveness and Salvation.
Now the Lord gave Jonah, the instruction to go to Nineveh. For Nineveh’s sin was so great, that it came up to the heavens. We know God is Holy, Righteous, hates mans sins, yet loves the sinner. Because of God’s Holiness, sin cannot be allowed in God’s Holy Presence. For the wages of sin is death, yet the Free Gift of God is Eternal Life. Due to their sin been so great, it would lead them to destruction. Nineveh was on the highway of death’s destruction, because of sin’s dictatorship.
Storms of Life
But Jonah had been unwilling. He decided to go in the opposite direction. The Lord has a way of bringing us back to His original plan. Because of his unwillingness, the Lord, brought about a storm. Sometimes the storms of life, may come and we need to be aware, of these storms. It might be the Lord bringing us back to our original instructions.
Yet the Lord, is willing to be patient, bringing us back to His original plan. This does not mean, He brings us into condemnation; instead He did not come into the world, to condemn the world; rather that we would be saved. Yet because of our own plans, we may miss God’s plan for us; (ie God’s plan for our lives).
We are encouraged from Scripture; to commit our plans to the Lord. We are to first seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things, shall be added to us (Mt 6:33 NKJ). We’re to roll our works unto the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause our thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall our plans be established (see Pr 16:3 Amp). When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. Commit our way to the Lord, trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass (see Ps37:4-5 NKJ).
Obviously Jonah did not heed the Lord, and went his own way. Often when the Lord’s call rests on us we try to sherk the responsiblity, given us. We run away and as Moses, we may tell the Lord to use some one else. Yet as Jeremiah, there remains a burning, a yearning in our hearts to fulfill God’s plan. We believe and feel there is a greater responsibility, there is more to life; than just being here.
God places those desires in our hearts. For every person has that deep yearning, searching to do something with their life. God gives everybody a purpose, for their life. We only have one life on this earth, we are to use it wisely. Every person, man or woman; boy or girl has a purpose for living.
Sometimes the storms of life throw us a curved ball. We may be at the receiving end of that ball. I like what some one said; if or when life gives us lemons, let’s add sugar, and make lemonade. When a ball player receives a curved ball, he either stops it, then tries to make a score, try or a goal, or he stops it, then defends his tems game. He may also be injured, lie down defeated, or despite the setbacks, gets back on his feet, then tries again.
Ever watched a child learn to walk? I’ve had the privelege of raising two. I’ve seen them crawl, fall, stand up and then walk again. I don’t pride myself in being the world’s best father, but through God’s Grace; I’ve the privelege of being a father. Often I’d also messed up, made mistakes, fallen down, then through God’s Grace, been able stand up and to carry on again.
Count the Cost
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fishes belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and He answered me.” (Jon 2:1-2 NKJ).
And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know this great tempest is because of me.” (Jon 1:12 NKJ).
Jonah knew he had been the cause of the storm. The decisions we made; have consequences. We need to face them, whether good or bad. This often may lead us to count the costs. The Lord tells us, we are to count the cost. There is a price to be paid. He also reminds us: –
When a developer plans on building a tower, or works on a new development. He first sits down, counts the cost. Then makes sure he has sufficient, to complete the task on hand. Even so, when we heed the Lord’s instructions, we need to count the cost. We ‘re to be sure we”re able to pay the price. There are certain consequences involved, when we make any decisions. Therefore we need to be sure we clearly hear; be sensitive to our Lord’s leading and prompting, through His Spirit then obey the instruction He has given us.