Monday, February 24, 2014

What I have in common with Jonah

Most of us are familiar with the Story of Jonah and the Whale Big Fish. Just incase you aren’t familiar with it, it goes something like this…

·       God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and announce his judgement on them because of their wickedness.

·       “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3) {Get away from the Lord? Umm, someone should have told Jonah that God is Omnipotent… he’s everywhere dude! When I read this verse today, it just struck me as hilarious.  The visual in my mind is that of a 3 year old when their parent tells them to stop playing with something and instead of obeying they jump up and run in the other direction.  As if avoiding their parents will just make them disappear altogether.  Funny.}

·       Jonah jumps on a ship (hoping to sail away from God) with some unsuspecting sailors.

·       The Lord caused a violent storm that almost destroyed the ship and the sailors, after realizing Jonah was the cause of this catastrophe, throw Jonah overboard.

·       A big fish comes along and swallows up Jonah. Yep, swallowed him and there he stayed for 3 days and nights… inside of a big fish.

·       Jonah prayed to God and the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out.

·       Jonah goes to Ninevah and tells the people their city will be destroyed because of their wickedness.

·       HAPPY ENDING: The people repent and the Lord spares them Judgment.

Some may be tempted to stop reading there but DON’T you’ll be shocked at what happens next! Remember my last bullet point, the Happy Ending? Well, it turns out Jonah wasn’t too happy about this happy ending. As a matter of fact, he was down right angry that God decided not to destroy the people. And he didn’t hesitate to give God a piece of his mind.  In case you’re into drama (don’t worry I won’t tell) here’s how the rant went, “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.  Just kill me now, Lord…” (Jonah 4:2-3)

The shocking part is… I’m pretty sure he was serious! You may be wondering if the Lord struck him down at that moment, another shocker, nope.   Jonah’s selfishness in this self-titled book seems to have no bounds.  After reading, I was sitting and contemplating what kind of terrible person was Jonah?? He disobeyed God, ran in the opposite direction of God, endangered the lives of a crew of sailors, and when he finally seemed ready to turn things around he gets angry with God for giving the people of Ninevah a second chance.  What's wrong with him?? Jonah was selfish, plain and simple.  If it didnt benefit him, he wasn't interested.  Not exactly the type of person I would ever want to call a friend.  It’s easy for me to look at him in astonishment and be thankful I’m nothing like that. 

Am I? True, I’ve never scolded God for not wiping out an entire city.  But if I’m honest, a large part of each day is focused on ME, either directly or indirectly. So before, I start to pass judgment on Jonah, I’m going to take a closer look at the ways that selfishness manifests in my own life. 

What about you? How does selfishness sneak into your world?

Linking up with Tuesdays with a Twist, Titus 2 Tuesday, Playdates with God.


  1. Jonah's story seems outrageous on many levels, but it's truth and it certainly reveals truth about us. Aspiring to "not think of myself more highly than I ought to" today. Selfishness is my default, but God gives me a new mind!

    1. Praise God that we are changed and can choose differently!

  2. Really enjoyed this post! (And the commentary hehe) You're so right! Thanks for sharing, God Bless ♥ xo