I have been fixated with Johan lately. I know it’s a story we have heard a hundred times, but as my pastor says, “we must always be careful of those stories we know well.” Because we know them we tend not to pay too close attention.
It takes some effort to try and understand all the symbolism of Isaiah’s prophecy. It takes a little meditation to grasp the John’s revelation.
Does it really take that much to understand the story of Jonah?
Well, maybe we got it all figured out, but let us take a walk together through this book one more time and see what we get out of it. Hopefully you will read this and think, “Thank you, Captain Obvious.” But if not, maybe God can let us both grow through this.
Do me a favor. Read Jonah once all the way through. It’s only 4 chapters so it won’t take long.
I wish I could go through this book verse by verse but that would be too tedious to read. If you want to read my commentary on Jonah, wait about 45 years from now and I should be done with my complete commentary on the Bible. Till then we are cutting to the chase and hitting the highlights.
The first thing I noticed is that God said Nineveh’s sin had confronted Him. Understand that ALL sin confronts God, but it seems that there comes a certain time when God says “enough.”
Am I the only one who has reached that point, even after I have been saved, where God points out something in my life and says, “Enough!”
Jonah was told to go preach against the city. God didn’t tell Jonah to go convert people. God is the only one who can convert anyone. Oh yes we can manipulate people’s emotions into praying a prayer and going about their life, we could even get someone to live a moral life, but only God can save someone.
The point of preaching is not to trick people into living better lives. Any preacher who does not confront you with the sin that is in your life and tell you that there is only one way to be cleansed of that sin is a charlatan that only uses God as a means for a pay-check.
At least Jonah was truthful with himself and God. As we will see later, he flat out said, “I don’t want to, and you can’t make me!”
As we will see later, God never made Jonah do anything, but He did make a pretty compelling argument.
My words are up so till next time, let me know what you think so we can work through this together.