The story of Jonah offers more than one life lesson. It is a two dimension story showcasing human flaws and God’s perfection. It’s a matter of perspective and however we want to view it bottom line is : God is inescapable.
When God tells us to do something and we run away from it does not only delay the process, it creates a ripple effect that is sometimes stressful for other people indirectly involved. It is silly to think that we can just get a one way ticket to nowhere and God won’t find us. Right!
Instead of dealing with it, we flee…and it is costly.
When I was a kid and I get orders from my mom or my gramma to do something and I would cut corners or not do it at all, I usually pay the price. I’d always get the immortal lecture of “ Resistance is futile. You will end up doing it anyway, so why complicate it?” Crying and throwing a fit will not make it go away, if for anything it will just keep coming back to bite you in the you-know-where.
Jonah’s action did not only expose the ship crew to unnecessary calamity, he subjected them to a great deal of stress as well. Imagine the horror of the crew! I would have frozen up in terror or suffer hypertension (or I could have bopped Jonah in the head, maybe).
Even after Jonah’s time of reflection and prayer, he still managed to justify his action and expressed his displeasure with God’s compassion. “That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” [Chapter 4: 2]
The naiveté of his complaint reflects what most of us would say when we don’t agree with God’s plan. “He betrayed me and cost me pain, and yet you want me to forgive him? And worse yet, you still love him and want to save him? You must be out of your mind God!”… All too familiar?
What he said in verse 3 is just a biblical version of what we usually say out of pride and indignance: “OVER MY DEAD BODY!”, really? Like dying while complaining is better than living and obeying.
God is compassionate and we can’t escape Him , which is a good thing. The Lord’s plan is the best plan and prevails, even if it means sending a whale to swallow us alive. Would make for a good WordPress blog material but …nah.
Have a blessed day, everyone.
(PS, I know it was not a blowfish, I just thought it was catchy, pun unintended. )