Hello, beautiful people! Happy October!
I actually run a Bible study for my female relatives and we are studying The Book of Jonah this month. Since we are studying this book, I thought it might be fun to include all of you in the fun and create a post each week based on what I got from each chapter. Enjoy!
If you aren’t familiar with the story of Jonah, Jonah is a guy who has a big call on his life – the Lord specifically instructed him to tell the people of Ninevah that they were to be judged by God. Jonah doesn’t want to do that so he tries to run away and winds up getting swallowed by a whale. Eventually, Jonah wises up and goes ahead to do what God told him to do.
That’s Jonah in a nutshell, but I encourage you to go ahead and read the story for yourself to get the full value and lessons that come from it.
Anywho, let’s start with chapter 1!
So we really don’t get much of an introduction of Jonah – we just know he’s a guy who is called by God to go tell Nineveh the bad news(Jonah 1:1). But instead of following directions, he defies God and decides to sail to Tarshish(Jonah 1:3). Now, just for perspective, check out the map below, compliments of doctrine.org:
See how far Jonah was willing to go? He was willing to travel over 2,000 miles just to try and get away from his mission from God.
Lesson #1: No matter how far you go or try to go, you CANNOT escape God’s call on your life.
Nonetheless, Jonah wanted to try anyway.
Once we get to verse 4, Jonah is already on the ship and is on his way to Tarshish. While he’s sleeping, God sends a bad storm that has everybody on the boat shook! The verse says that all the sailors on the ship, “each cried out to his own god,” so that makes me assume that these men probably weren’t believers. So when they woke Jonah up they were like, “Pray to your God, maybe he’ll save us!” Lol. Then they cast lots (which is kind of like drawing straws) to see who was responsible for this crazy storm going on!
Chapter 8 and 9 were interesting to me: When the men realized that the person responsible for this storm was Jonah, they asked him where he came from and who his people were. It didn’t state whether or not Jonah was nervous or not, but I don’t really think he hesitated in his response. He boldly stated that he was Hebrew and was a Christian!
So he literally was like, “Hi, my name is Jonah. God instructed me to do something but I’m just gonna run away instead. Yeah, the storm is here because of me, but I still wanna run away.”
Lesson #2: If you’re going to boldly represent Christ, boldly walk the walk and talk the talk.
This is one part of Jonah’s story that I think everyone can relate to. I think we’ve all been there – heck, some of us are still there – where we are in the middle of our mess, yet we still want to proclaim the name of Christ. It’s great to be unashamed and tell people what you believe, but you don’t think that you doing your mess and talking about God will turn potential believers off? Of course, no one is perfect, but use common sense! Don’t try to preach to folks about doing something you can’t even overcome!
Now we’ve reached verse 11, where the men are trying to figure out what to do with Jonah. Jonah just tells them, “Throw me overboard. I know this is all my fault.”
I don’t know, but Jonah’s response could be taken two different ways to me:
1. He was so upset and convicted about everything that happened that he just felt like, “Just kill me now! I’m sorry Lord!”
2. He wanted them to throw him overboard and hope that he did die so he still wouldn’t have to do what God asked him to do.
I honestly kind of feel like it’s a combination of both, but mostly leaning towards #2. Jonah was at the point where he was willing to do anything to get out of this. But once God calls you, that’s it.
However, one good thing did come out of this: those sailors on the ship with him converted to Christ if they didn’t believe in Him already, and you see that in Jonah 1:14-17.
Lesson #3: God can flip a situation into something that glorifies Him in a second!
If God is going to use you, that’s just it – He’s going to use you! You never know how God could turn a situation around! Jonah defied God’s orders and still managed to save some souls! Isn’t that crazy?!
Finally, we get to verse 17, the last verse in chapter 1 of Jonah, where he is swallowed by “a big fish.” Was it a whale? Was it just a really big fish? Was it the Loch Ness Monster? We may never know. But we do know that he was in there for three days and three nights and that he emerged with some act right! Ha.
Well, guys! That’s all I have for chapter 1 of The Book of Jonah! If you’d like to continue this journey with me, be sure to check back in next Sunday!
If you’d like to nominate someone for the “Faith Features series, create a guest post, or have a question or comment you would like to share, don’t be shy! Get in touch with me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Email; you can also simply comment below and I’ll make sure to get back with you!