Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jonah 3:4

v. 4 "On the first day, Jonah started into the city.  He proclaimed: 'Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.'"

I had never thought of Jonah's condition after his release from his watery cell.  Priscilla Shirer spoke about a man in 1926 who had been swallowed whole by a shark.  This man was recovered after two days and of course he was dead, but the description was vivid.  All his hair was gone, he had patches of yellow and brown all over his body, there was a terrible stench from the body starting to break down.  Just imagine Jonah walking into the city, he would have stood out among the inhabitants.  He preached a warning to the people and I think his physically appearance must have had a great impact on the them.  Now when you think of Jonah try to think of this man who is physically scarred, someone who is forever changed on the outside.  Disobedience comes with a price.  His physical appearance may have been changed for the rest of his life, a continual reminder of his defiance.  If we see someone and assume they are filthy and hopeless just remember Jonah.  This man of God went through a massive change so those we may look down upon may have been in Jonah's shoes and have a story to tell.

"God's plans for us are so overwhelmingly beyond anything that we could ever imagine that our feelings or ability to reason His directives cannot be the determining factor for choosing obedience.  Making sense of what God has asked or feeling compelled to cooperate cannot be the prerequisite for choosing obedience.  His Word must be enough."  Priscilla Shirer

Jonah is finally there in the city of Nineveh, ready to preach.  Priscilla Shirer said that God gave Jonah only five words (in Hebrew) and nothing else to say to the people.  We get glued to the words when we hear a perfectly crafted speech.  Jonah did not have an elaborate lengthy speech to move the hearts of the people, these words had power in them because they came from God.  He had five words that changed their lives.  Sometimes simple is better.

The inner wall of Nineveh was about 8 miles to walk, a large city for that time period.  Jonah walked along the streets of the city proclaiming the coming destruction if they did not repent.  God did not outright destroy these people, He gave them a time frame to change their ways.  He could have decimated them, but then there would have been no reason for God to send Jonah.  God is a caring Father, yet even children must be disciplined if they do not obey.

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