Deuteronomy 31:8, 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Yahweh, the Lord decided to destroy the city of Nineveh due to their wicked acts and sinful nature. But more than their destruction, He desired a change of heart and soul. Lord sent the prophet Jonah in their midst to prophecy about the Lord’s decision. Lord said three things, (Jonah 1:2, 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”) their sins have reached up to me; go and preach. Jonah did not approve of the decision of the Lord. He knew very well that the Lord is patient and highly merciful. If the people had a change of heart then his prophecy of destruction would be false. The priority of ‘self’ or ‘I’ was more in Jonah than saving the whole city of Nineveh, including all men and animals. Following the Lord’s instructions, Jonah set foot to travel. But instead of travelling to Nineveh, he went to Tarshish. Jonah must be having his own explanations in doing so. Man violating the instructions of Lord is punishable. Who is man to go against the wishes of the Lord?? Jonah’s experience is a lesson for all of us who go against the word of God.
God rocked the ship that Jonah sailed upon with heavy storm and rocky waves. To lessen the weight, the sailor started to throw the loads into the sea. What do we children of the Lord do when our life boat is rocked by turbulent winds of sin and desires?? What should be done?? Do we throw away the sacks of sins and resume the journey in the right direction?? Jonah was sleeping peacefully when the ship was being rocked. Are we also sleeping blissfully like Jonah without a care in this world?? Wake up and think where am I going??
This is the state of affairs in many of our homes.Even if the family gets caught in the midst of stormy times due to their own actions, he/she sleeps peacefully. Due to God’s anger on one person, God could have destroyed the whole ship. Only if God could open the eyes of Jonah’s in our own lives/ homes. Alcoholics, drug addicts, sexual immorality, pride, selfishness, anger, hatred, slaves to these cause pain to those around them. If only God would open their hearts and eyes. Jonah admitted his mistake and was ready to take the punishment for it. Jonah recognized that this was all the Lord’s doing.
Jonah said to the fellow sailors to throw him into the sea as he was the cause of the turbulent seas. Jonah was thrown into the sea. The Lord has a plan for everyone, similarly, when Jonah was thrown a whale was waiting to swallow him up. This is a warning for those who go against the wishes of God, their way will be stormy and many fishes will be there to swallow them up. Jonah cried out loud. Merciful Lord heard his cries. the whale spit Jonah out at the place the Lord had decided upon. Can you believe that a man was inside a whale’s belly for three whole days.
Our family is like a ship. The world is like the ocean. When our ship sets sail it comes across high waves and stormy weather. At these times we say that the Lord has forsaken us. When the ship goes the wrong way, it is the Lord’s way of bringing us back in the right direction by tossing us here and there. God left Jonah on his way. He reached Nineveh. The Lord does not desire the destruction of sinners, He waits and wants a change/transformation of the heart. The Lord has set many of His people to guide His children in the right direction. Lord desires us to bravely say what is the truth without fear of reactions and repercussions, looking squarely at the faces. We do not know what tomorrow holds for us. What if we would not be given a chance for repentance??
Jonah preached in Nineveh. The whole city, from the king to the ordinary man and animals repented from their sinful ways and asked for forgiveness. Seeing their repentance, Lord’s anger melted, changed His decision and did not destroy them. This experience teaches us that even the words one person is enough to bring about change of hearts in people. We do not know whom the Lord will use as an instrument of change. May the Holy Spirit fill us with power to be able to say the truth in the word of God.
Joshua 1:9, 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 41:10, 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.