We have constant reminders every day that our adversary the devil is prowling around like a lion waiting to devour us. Unfortunately, we usually are so caught up in the “cares of the world” that we don’t even notice. We have stopped listening to the rhetoric because we feel helpless to do anything about it. Whether it is race related, political, an agenda issue, terrorism or incorrect news reports, it has all become so overwhelming that we end up distancing ourselves as far as possible.
Way back when there was a fellow in the Bible who felt the same way. He was so convinced that God was going to have mercy on an entire despicable city that he actually tried to run away and hide from God. He couldn’t imagine having to talk to people of that particular ethnicity and who practiced such horrendous torture techniques. God, however, had other plans for this man. He didn’t change His mind about the people of the city or the man who was running from Him. He simply worked out His plan to accomplish His purpose until the prophet was persuaded to obey and do what He had asked.
By now you’ve probably determined that the prophet in our story was Jonah and the city was Nineveh. As a result of Jonah’s reluctant obedience the entire city, including animals, repented and were saved! Is it so hard to understand that in today’s world God is asking us to do what He asked of Jonah?
He does indeed want us to go to the people we consider detestable and un-savable. He longs for them to repent and someone has to be the one who shares the good news with them.
We don’t know how that simple message Jonah preached caused all of them to repent and that isn’t necessary. God had His eye on Nineveh long before He asked Jonah to go there. He had His eye on Jonah as well. If God is to be glorified, the lost must be saved and the saved must share the good news.
We can certainly relate to Jonah’s story today. The fact is we don’t readily face similar issues today. We would rather turn off the TV and bury our heads in more pleasant thoughts. God, however, has different plans for us, just as He did for Jonah all those many years ago. His message to us is not to run away from the unpleasant business of the world, but to pull our heads out of the sand and let God use us to bring glory to Him.