When an evil empire displayed its power before God and the world through various demonstrations of inhumane mercilessness, that is when Jonah heard God instruct him to proceed to call the people to repent for their sins.
In verses 1-3:
God called Jonah to do a work in Nineveh, an important city of that timeframe. However, the prophet Nahum states that the people of Nineveh were blameworthy of evil plots against God, taking advantage of the vulnerable, heartless in war, prostitution, idolatry, and black magic. Jonah hated the people and their wickedness, but he refused to go because he did not want God to forgive them and was afraid that the people might repent.
Jonah's attitude was similar to the attitude of the nation of Israel. The Israelites did not want to share God's mercies to non-Jews, nor receive His favor. So, what does Jonah do? He left the presence of the Lord - he ran, he paid the ship fare - the cost of sin, and he went down into the ship - he was hiding.
When God gives us directions through his Word, some of us have run away in fear and dread, saying that God is asking too much of us. Dread made Jonah run. In any case, running pushed him into more terrible problems. At last, he comprehended and understood that it is better to do what God asks us to do to begin with. However, by then, he had followed through on an exorbitant cost for running. It is far superior to obey from the very beginning. (Nahum 1:9, 2:12- 13, 3:4; 2 Kings 14:25; Matthew 12:39-41; Genesis 3:8)
In verse 4-7:
Jonah's defiance to God jeopardized the lives of the ship's crew. While the tempest seethed, Jonah was snoozing away down in the ship's hold; he thought that all was well. He did not realize that his sin also affected others; it caused trouble for those around him. Indeed, even as he ran from God, he obviously did not have a feeling of remorse. In any case, the nonattendance of blame (lack of guilt) is not a constant indicator of whether we are doing right.
Even though we can deny reality, we cannot quantify defiance by our feelings. Rather, we should contrast what we do and God's models for living. We have an extraordinary duty to obey God's Word, because our transgression and noncompliance will hurt others around us. Sin will cause storms and our lives to be unstable. The ship's crew cast lots (dice) to find the blameworthy (guilty) individual, depending on their superstitions to offer them a response. Their method worked, yet simply because God interceded to tell Jonah he was unable to run from Him. (Psalms 107:28; Jeremiah 2:28)
In verse 8-12:
Before long, Jonah understood that regardless of where he went, he was unable to escape from God. In any case, before Jonah could come back to God, he needed to stop fleeing from God. Jonah realized he had resisted and that he was the reason for the tempest, yet he did not utter a single word until the crew made their bets, and the lot fell on him.
But we see that Jonah was willing to give his life to spare the mariners, even though he had refused to do likewise for the individuals of Nineveh. Jonah's scorn for the Assyrians had influenced his point of view.
We cannot look for God's affection and run from him at the same time. What has God instructed us to do? If we need a greater amount of God's affection and power, we should be happy to complete the duties He gives us. We cannot state that we genuinely trust God if we do not do what He says.
In verses 13-17:
By attempting to spare Jonah's life, the pagan mariners demonstrated more sympathy and compassion than Jonah. Jonah did not want to caution the individuals of Nineveh of the coming judgment of God. Believers ought to be embarrassed when unbelievers show more concern and empathy than they do. God wants us to get have more concern about His people, lost and saved.
Jonah had resisted God. While he was fleeing, he halted and submitted to God. The boats crew started to revere God since they saw the tempest calm down. God can utilize even our missteps to help other people come to know Him. It might be excruciating, however conceding our transgressions can be a ground-breaking guide to the individuals who do not know God. How paradoxical that the pagan mariners did what the whole country of Israel would not do - appealed to God and promised to serve Him.
Many have attempted to clarify away this inexplicable occasion, yet the Bible does not describe it as a fantasy or a legend. We ought not clarify away this supernatural occurrence as though we could single out which of the marvels in the Bible we want to accept and which ones we do not want to accept. This sort of demeanor permits us to scrutinize any piece of the Bible, making us lose our trust in it as God's actual and solid Word. Christ utilized Jonah's experience himself as a representation of his death and resurrection. (Psalms 89:9; 66:13-14; Matthew 12:39-41)
God is inescapable for an individual or a nation. (Numbers 32:23; Romans 6:23)
Sin had made Jonah look like the world. The sin that was in Jonah's life cause the ship to toss about, it rocked the boat. That is what happens when we run from God, we begin to look like the sin in the world and then people do not see Christ shining through us.
Copyright © 2023 RCS Ministries
All rights reserved.