The story of Jonah is interesting, Bible stories are interesting because we have to develop a mindset as we grow in our walk with God that they aren’t elementary. We have to see them as more than just stories. There is always something more to a Bible story. There’s always something more to grasp and understand.
When I was little I always thought Jonah was interesting because he was swallowed by a fish. Swallowed by a fish! And not even chewed or anything. I was so enamored by that as a child that I missed the fact that he ran away from God. Now, I see something different when I read this. He ran away from God.
Oh Jonah, foolish, stupid Jonah. You can’t run away from God. He’s omnipresent. And just as quickly as I try to call out Jonah and cast my stones, I’m reminded that I’m Jonah. How much one on one time does God call me to that I run from? I may not knowingly say, I’m running away, but subconsciously I do. I don’t make time for it and I don’t make time for Him.
How many times does God say, come here, read with me because I want to show you something, sit with me because I want to tell you something, come to me, because I want to give you something? All too often. There are times when I’m too sleepy or I’m too scheduled, or everything else is prioritized a certain way that I have excuses as to why I can’t spend time with God right then.
All I’m really doing, is running away. I’m running away from what He wants me to hear. I’m running away from what He wants me to share. And it’s not right. In fact, it’s downright hurtful.
I am so interested and intrigued by Bible stories. As a child, they just started out as really interesting stories of the power and might of God. Now as an adult, they’re still those interesting stories, but they’re so much more.
Now I see the application of these stories. Now I see myself in these stories, and even more I see God’s forgiveness for me in these stories. The fact of the matter is that sometimes we’re Jonah, sometimes we’re turning our backs like the Israelites, and sometimes we’re Judas or Peter. And the truth is, sometimes we’re worse off, because they’ve shown us what not to do and we do it anyway. So my questions is, who’s foolish now?
Jonah 1:1-3 The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.
John 18: 25-27 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.”
But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
Judges 2:10-13 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt.