Written by Doreen Kontor-Manu
The story of Jonah is one of the most popular stories in the Bible in my opinion. I’ve always thought the author of Pinocchio was inspired by it. I was reading it today and I thought it would be fun to share what I learnt on my WhatsApp status. I’m posting it here so anyone can get the chance to read.
So, Jonah is sent by God to Nineveh to evangelize and he’s like
“NOPE! Lord, imma bounce. Those people are living dead anyways.”
Lets start! First of all, I want to say that I love Jonah. I find him so amusing and relatable! What a guy!
So homeboy packs and flees to Tarshish! To hell with the people of Nineveh!
Now, God is looking at the CCTVs shaking his head. “Such an insolent man, yo winds, go shake them up a bit. Jonah is being stubborn. Does he think he can hide from me?” Ah what we humans can do! Fleeing from the Almighty! When we know who He is. When we have experienced Him! We still forget. Our minds are so fickle!! Very fickle!
The Mariners lose their minds!! “We all gonna die tonight! Start praying or send an owl to your wife or side chick.. it’s over for us!” Whilst the winds are howling, what’s our man Jonah doing??? He BED!! He is sleeping. Who says there’s no sleep for the wicked. Be there! The captain wakes him up and briefs him on what’s happening. “You better start writing your will or something bro because it looks like we might not make it!”
I’m sure after talking amongst themselves they realize that something is definitely up. This must be spiritual because we checked the weather report and GTV said it was going to be clear. Now who’s the culprit! Own up! Lots are cast and it’s my man Jonah! Running from our Omnipotent God! He got the whole world in His hands! Where can you hide? The audacity of a mere human!!
Jonah, knows who he’s messing around with he knows he is the reason for the chaos so, he offers his body as a literal living sacrifice. He’s thrown into the sea in exchange for calmness although the Mariners did try to battle the sea with their strength, they realized that that wasn’t it. Quite commendable though, shows how much the life of each person on the ship was cherished.
Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17 The Lord who knows our every step! Although we sin, He will still forgive us and deliver us! If only we acknowledge what we have done!
Whilst Jonah was being the first Pinocchio, he didn’t just sit and wait, he prayed and prayed. Finally, the Lord spoke to the fish and it spat Jonah in NINEVEH!! When in tough times, created by yourself, or just in difficult situations, do you go down on your knees or you wallow in self pity?
Jonah, finding himself in Nineveh after all the hustle.
I know why Jonah was reluctant to go. Apart from the people being so evil, the city was a big one! It was a three day journey from the gate to the end. His poor feet and water-soaked sandals! So he starts preaching! Calling on them to change their evil ways lest they are destroyed in forty days. You know how some people preach doom, with so much fervor and spirit! I bet that is just what Jonah did!
One beautiful thing, the word of God will be heard chale!! We just need to proclaim it. The Bible says the people believed and proclaimed a fast! Even the king!!!! God saw this, their works, and was moved! He knows a man’s heart! He knows it when you love Him. He loves it when we come to Him. When we repent and return to Him! He’s ever willing to embrace us and to remember our iniquities no more!!
Jonah gets mad!!! “I got thrown into the sea for this! I was swallowed by a fish. For three days I was in it’s stinky digestive system. It spits me out and I walk and walk for days preaching and you still forgive them? For real Lord, for real? I should have just died mahn! Just kill me”The Bible says, he walks out of the city, finds a shelter and sulks. Actually waiting to see what will happen to Nineveh! This guy!!!!
God, always showing up with practicals. He makes a plant grow to give our boy shade and he shadily thinks of ways Nineveh can go down. Jonah was very grateful for that because who doesn’t like gifts from God? The next day, God causes the plant to die and Jonah feels the wrath of the sun, so much that he feels faint!. God didn’t joke with this!! “You gon’ feel the heat today son!”
Before we continue, such a powerful God! The plant grew and gave Jonah shade in a day and dies the next day!! What a powerful God! He gives and takes!! I hope you find strength in this. He will come through for you in that tumultuous storm. Believe! There are stories in the Bible that affirms His greatness. Be patient!
Jonah is sad that his beloved plant died, but can’t stir up the same feelings for the people of NINEVEH. A plant he didn’t water or grow, but protected him from the sun deserves to live but not human beings? Why shouldn’t God pity them as well?
And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?” Jonah 4:11
The book of Jonah ends with this verse. We are left to form our own opinions. We don’t know whether our boy reflected and accepted God’s decision. It doesn’t only talk about God but also about men of God. In the end they are really just humans.
Paul talks about us always praying for our leaders and ministers. It is not easy at all. we can easily be blinded by our feelings and make rush judgements. Pray that they will continually speak to God. One good thing about Jonah is that although he had his reservations, he never stopped speaking to God and seeking his counsel. I really hope we do same!
What have we learnt from this? What are you going to do about your calling? Will you run away or do God’s work? You might not get a fish to swallow you you know! The choice is yours!
The book of Jonah has just 4 chapters. You can also spend some few minutes reading for yourself! It’s a popular story but there’s so much in there. I hope I made it fun for you.
Till next time, never stop praying and seeking God, folks! He’s really amazing
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