Oftentimes, we find ourselves in sinful places because we weren’t paying close attention. We got lazy and ended up in a whirlwind of terrible choices with terrible consequences. Other times we knew what we were doing when we chose to disobey God.

 

The prophet, Jonah, was told by God to go to the city of Nineveh to preach so that they’d repent and turn to God. Clearly, Jonah was far from thrilled at this command because he literally ran away from God and headed for Tarshish, a city in the opposite direction of Nineveh. He ended up boarding a ship to get as far away from Nineveh as he could.

 

Unfortunately, his poor choice in evading God’s command didn’t turn out well for him. Within a short time, a storm came upon the ship and threatened to kill the entire crew. Immediately, Jonah knew that his disobedience to God was the cause of the situation. So, he told the crew it was his fault. Jonah 1:15 NIV says, “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.”

 

If that wasn’t bad enough, he was swallowed up by a giant fish once he was in the sea. And he would spend the next three days and three nights in the belly of that fish before being vomited up on dry land. Once he was no longer camping out inside the fish, he chose to obey God and preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.

 

Here are two takeaways from the life of Jonah:

 

Face It, Don’t Run From It

When God commanded Jonah to preach repentance to a large city of sinners, he wanted nothing to do with it. So he ran. Had Jonah just obeyed God and done what he was supposed to do in the beginning, he wouldn’t have had to deal with the consequences of his actions, including camping out in the disgusting belly of a fish for an extended weekend. Often, we experience hardships in life and we’d rather ignore or deny them, than face them. So, let’s deal with our difficulties and struggles head on and allow God to meet us in the midst of them.

 

God’s Plan Prevails

While the people in Nineveh were wicked and living lives full of sin, God desired for them to return to Him. That was His plan in the beginning and it came to pass. Regardless of our own plans and dreams, we have to understand that God is sovereign. This is His created world that we get to reside in. We are here for His purposes, not the other way around.

 

We’ll all have to do things we don’t want to do. Instead of fleeing from our responsibilities and callings, let’s obey God the first time and watch how He works to transform lives. He’s sovereign and we should consider it an honor to participate in His work on earth.

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