Jonah 3:1,2--Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.”
One could hardly blame him for disobeying God’s instruction. The Assyrians were Israel’s hated enemy to the north. When God called Jonah to go to their capital city and warn them of His impending judgment, naturally his prejudice and nationalist pride stood in the way. In fact, the book of Jonah is one fascinating story of a man who placed his right over God’s and by so doing failed to discern His higher will. Are we any different? Are you avoiding doing what God would have you do because your sense of personal rights stands in the way? Read on!
Don’t Run Away
“Lord about this assignment and the warning I should bring
I think I’ll go to Tarshish, so I’m headed out to sea.
Lord, I’m not a mercy man, I really couldn’t care
Don’t want to go to Nineveh, I don’t wanna share.”
Think I’ll just go down below and take a little nap
Little sleep should cure my guilt and keep my conscience back
“Hey Captain quit shaking me can’t ya see I’m tired?
What’s that? A storm you say—you want me to call my God!”
The sailors rolled the dice to find out where to put the blame
Of course I was the guilty one so they asked me to explain.
I told them I’m an Israelite running from the Lord
The same One Who made the sea so cast me overboard.
Well the sea got worse and the sailors shook they tried to row for land.
But the more they stroked the worse it got until they finally prayed.
“Lord please don’t let us die for killing an innocent man.”
Then they threw me off the ship and the raging sea went bland.
The Lord He sent a giant fish it swallowed me complete.
With seaweed wrapped around my head it sank into the deep.
“Three days Lord that’s pretty bad you know my hair is bleached!
I’m calling for help, hear me Lord I’ll make Your will complete.”
Well that big fish spit me like a plug right up on the beach
And off I went to Nineveh it took three days to preach.
Those Ninevites believed the Lord and they began to fast
Even the king took off his robes and sat down in the dust.
“Lord, I’m not a mercy man and I’m really getting ticked
I don’t like the Ninevites and Your love for them is sick.
So Lord just let me die I pray, just get it over with!
That’s why I ran away—I knew it’d come to this!”
“Lord why’d You let the vine grow and kill it with a worm?
Why’d you go and give me shade then yank it so I’d burn?”
“Why Jonah if you care so much for a single vine
Don’t you think that I should bring my love to all these lives?”
The dove was not a mercy man—he should have been a vulture
But God is full of love and grace for each and every culture.
So when He tells you to go out and share about His Son
Don’t run away, or find excuses, go and get it done!
Whenever we make “our right” our guidance, we blunt our spiritual insight.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)