How We Are Like Jonah

In the opening verses of the story of Jonah in the Bible, we discover that after hearing God’s call to go and preach to the great city of Nineveh, Jonah “got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence” (Jonah 1:3 HCSB).  That thought came to my remembrance the other day as a friend told me about a young man who had sensed the call of God in his life but had gone off to college and now has no interest in the things of God after obtaining his degree and beginning to pursue a career in the professional arena.  The connection caused me to realize that we are sometimes like Jonah.

Some of us can remember a time in our life when we knew God had called us to a mission or a task.  If our story were being written, it might be said of some of us that we “got up to flee…from the Lord’s presence”.  Some of us got side-tracked from God’s calling in college.  Some of us got distracted from God’s purpose in our life due to demands or attractions of our professional career.  Some of us got hamstrung in our pursuit of God’s call through entanglements with ungodly people.  Whatever the reason, many of us can identify with the beginning of Jonah’s story.

I doubt any of us living today have come to the point of being in a fish’s belly for three days, but I am sure that many of us who “got up to flee…from the Lord’s presence” have spent enough time in bad situations to at least have some idea of kinship with Jonah’s runaway days.  In the Bible’s account of Jonah, he eventually comes to his senses and calls out to God for forgiveness.  The fish vomits Jonah up on dry land at the end of Jonah, chapter two.

In the opening verses of the third chapter of Jonah, we discover that God again calls Jonah with the same call God originally issued to Jonah.  This time, however, Jonah “got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command” (Jonah 3:3 HCSB).  In my story, I tried to escape the Lord’s call and ran from His presence for ten years.  When I came to my senses and called out to God for forgiveness, God moved in my life and I once again sensed the same call He issued to me when I first became a believer at age 15.  Now, I am seeking to walk “according to the Lord’s command”.

How about you?  Where are you in the story of Jonah: running away from the presence of the Lord or trying to live according to the Lord’s command?

~ by brotherfaron on January 8, 2018.

One Response to “How We Are Like Jonah”

  1. Love this. Gives me hope

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