Have Bait…Will Travel.

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Reflection on Jonah 1 and 2

So I’m thinking that this wasn’t the “three hour tour” that Jonah was banking on when he high tailed it to Tarshish.  Hearing God’s voice and request to preach to this town that so desperately needed Him, Jonah busted outta there like Alcatraz.  I never realized what that journey looked like for him until I saw the actual map.
Wow.  He couldn’t have gotten any farther away from Ninevah!

What was in Ninevah that he was so afraid of?  Why did he run so fast and far upon hearing this assignment?  I’m not sure.  But it only took about 4 verses for God to come up on the scene and get all up in Jonah’s business.

What Jonah didn’t realize is that 1) you can’t outrun God and 2) he had his own little Ninevah on the boat.  The sailors prayed to every god they could think of to get out of this mess.  It wasn’t until they prayed to the God Jonah was running from that things changed.  I can imagine their faces in verse 15 and 16, where it says, “They took Jonah and threw him overboard.  Immediately the sea was quieted down.  The sailors were impressed, no longer terrified at the sea, but in awe of God.”  I can imagine them tossing him over, the sea becoming still like a pane of glass and them smugly strutting and brushing their hands together and saying, “Well.  That was easy!”

Enter stage left…giant fish.  This shows me that God will go to ANY measure to get your attention.

Well played Lord.  Well played.  Note to self: next time order the chicken…
Anyway, Jonah’s prayer is so genuine and heartfelt.  An entire chapter is dedicated to his heart’s cry.  But truly, what else would there be to do in the gut of a fish?   I mean, if you can’t find God in this situation…yikes.

Two things happened in Jonah’s prayer:
1) he confessed of his current situation.
2) he gave thanks and praise to God.

Exit stage right…Jonah.
Man I’d hate to be fishing on that shore.
No big.  Just a man coming out of a fish’s belly.  Hey, what’d you do today?

So, all in all this is a great image of God’s grace, mercy and pit bull determination to a) get His people preached to, b) go to any means possible.  Even though you’d think we’d learn by now, we still disobey, we still run, we still hide.
God loves us!
God is for us!
God is with us.

Why would we want to run from that?

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