The Reluctant Prophet – Part 1

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

My daughter and I were watching the Veggie Tales rendition of Jonah and the whale. I once again felt the nudge of God within me that I was just like Jonah.

Ouch!

Why the reluctant prophet? Well for months the lord has been giving me a very clear indication of what he wants me to do and for months I have been “seeking him for what He has for me.”

I have not been listening to his call as I felt that I did not want to delve into a part of me that was way too personal and private and full of deep emotions. So I have been diligently seeking him for the alternate assignment. I have discovered that there is not an alternate assignment and no matter how much I look for it, I will not find it.

I decided to delve into the book of Jonah in the Old Testament to find out more about the reluctant prophet.

To begin with, God gave Jonah who was a prophet in the Northern part of Israel an assignment, he was to go to the Town of Nineveh and tell the people that their wickedness had reached God’s attention and he was about to destroy them.

Jonah decided that he did not want to do that, so he hatched a plan, he figured if he ran in the opposite direction of where God had called him to go, he would be safe from having to fulfill this assignment. What he did not figure into the equation was that God who created the heavens and the earth is everywhere, and there is no where that you can run that is far enough away from God’s reach.

Psalm 139: 7-10

7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,£ you are there.

9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”

12even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

The story continues with Jonah boarding a ship to a city called Tarshish and during the night he went downstairs to his bunk and fell into a deep sleep. Meanwhile there is this fierce storm, which is battering the ship that he is on. The sailors are terrified and are calling out to their gods for them to save them. Finally the captain comes downstairs and wakes Jonah up. Tells him to come up and to seek his God on behalf of the sailors, maybe his God will have mercy on them.

Jonah admits that it is because he was running away from the God who creates all things that this storm was threatening to destroy their ship. He tells them that the only way to save themselves is to throw him over board. The sailors do not want to hear anything about throwing an “innocent man” over board. So they decided to try and row to shore, the storm grew worse. They eventually relented and through him over board.

Along comes the large fish, it swallows Jonah and he is in the belly of this fish for 3 days and 3 nights. I cannot even imagine how bad it smelt but that is beside the point.

While he is in the big fish he cries out to God in his distress, admitting that he was wrong to run from him.

To continue reading part two of this great article please click here

Filed under: Discipleship