ďNow the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ďArise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.Ē But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.Ē Jonah 1: 1-3
One of my favorite meals is fried catfish. But in the case of Jonah, he was not the one eating the fish the fish ate him or at least swallowed him. We all know the story how God told Jonah to go preach to the citizens of Nineveh. And how Jonah disobeyed Him and boarded a boat headed toward Tarshish instead.
Then God sent a big wind; the people on the boat were afraid, and Jonah admits he is running from the Lord and insists that the men throw him overboard. To give them their due, they did not throw him over immediately but tried to make it to shore. When the winds got worse, they gave in and threw Jonah into the water and the winds calmed.
That is when it happened a large fish swallowed Jonah and there he remained for three days and night. It was during this time that Jonah repented from his sin of disobedience, and was redeemed by the grace of the Lord.
There is more to the story of Jonah but for today letís look at Godís saving grace. God could have wrecked the boat Jonah was on, He could have let Jonah drown in the sea, or He could have let the fish truly consume Jonah. But He didnít He gave Jonah the opportunity to repent. God was not happy with Jonah when he disobeyed, but He still loved, protected, and offered redemption to him. The same as He does for us when we are disobedient. Isnít God good!
Dear Lord, thank You for always protecting us and Your willingness to forgive us of our sins when we ask. Please help me to obedient to You in all that I do. In Jesusís name, amen.