Study from God’s Word… Jonah, Chapters 1 – 3; 2nd Kings 13: 5; 14: 25-27; 2 Kgs 13; 6 … Passage for Reflection: Jonah 2: 10 … NIV And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
My Journal for Today: Well, if you read my devotional blog yesterday, you read of the wild and almost absurd story of a dead man being resurrected from death by being thrown by friends onto the dry bones of Elisha, the dead prophet; and if you think that was a wild and crazy story of God intervening into the lives of His children to make a point, what about the even wilder story of the reluctant Prophet, Jonah?
And as I told a bunch of men yesterday, when we read and digest stories like these in the Bible, we’re forced – almost like Jonah was – to decide … #1 … do we believe what is being related (by God) is actually true; and … #2 … do we get (i.e., understand and internalize) what God is saying from the story? And this story of Jonah has made its way, amongst all the stories in the Old Testament times, into God’s Holy Word. So, #1 … do you believe it’s true? And #2, what can we learn from it?
Sometimes, it stretches our human intellect to declare that the story of Jonah is not just some prophetic fish tale; but it’s important that we stretch ourselves into the realm of intellectual discomfort to believe the story … then we must do our best to let God speak through the reality of His truth to teach us something, … in this case about disobedience and the sovereignty of God.
Because, if we decide (and it’s always a decision) to BELIEVE God’s word is always true (and I ask you to recall or learn about the Greek concept of “believe,” which may require a little research into the Greek term, “pisteuo”), you will, in the case of the story of Jonah, come to a realization that you can’t hide from the plans of God; and even when we make disobedient decisions, as Jonah did, God is God; and He’s going to have His way, even if He has to use a bunch of innocent sailors, a big fish, a very reluctant and bigoted preacher, and a pagan King to bring about His will of salvation for His children … yes, even to a bunch of worldly Arab gentiles, like the Ninevites.
And the thing I bring away from a restudy into this wild fish story about Jonah, is that I need to follow God’s will for my life, even when it means going out of my comfort zone to do so, especially when it involves being obedient to the Great Commission (I hope you can quote that one from Matt. 28: 19-20). When God calls us to be humble and follow Him (once again, remember Luke 9: 23), the lesson we learn from being disobedient or reluctant may not involve being shipwrecked, eaten by a fish, and resurrected from a disaster; but if God needs to teach us to be humble and/or obedient, the challenges He puts us through may seem to us like those faced by Jonah. And I hope that I, for one, can just BELIEVE God, humbly seek His will, and then be in surrender to allow God’s Spirit to do what God says He will do in Isaiah 41: 10 and/or 1st Cor. 10: 13 (and if you don’t have the content of those two passages memorized, I charge you to do so – yes, to get out of your comfort zone and let God lift you up with His truth!!!).
Do you BELIEVE [yes, I mean “pisteuo”) the great fish story?! If so, we need to learn from it and let it direct us to lay aside fleshly desires and follow our God.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I believe, … I receive, … and prayerfully, I will achieve Your will. Amen