By Pastor Jenna Couch, Zion Luthrean Church, Jubilee
Jonah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I’d like for these next few newsletter articles to be interactive! For this week, pull out your Bible and read Jonah, chapter 1.
There is so much going on in this first chapter. God tells Jonah to go to Ninevah, but Jonah decides to go to Tarshish. He directly disobeys God’s command. Then, when he gets on the ship, God used a wind to cause the sea to throw the boat around. The men on the boat notice that Jonah is fast asleep during all of this chaos. They are desperate and ask Jonah to pray to his god; not knowing at that point that it is Jonah’s God, the God of the Hebrews that is causing the storm.
Once Jonah tells them that he is the cause of the wind, they try a few more things before they pray to God and throw Jonah overboard (at Jonah’s request!) The sea calms down and they are spared. Meanwhile, God, again acts in response to Jonah’s refusal to obey his command.
Next God provides a big fish to swallow Jonah up. Notice the text said ‘God provided” the fish. It was no fluke. God is clearly at work in this story! And, there’s MUCH more to the book of Jonah than the whale!
How often do we act like Jonah and run away from God’s call? Sometimes the call of the Gospel is difficult; but God walks with us all the way, trying to guide us back when we want to run away, and constantly providing ways for us to realize God is there, guiding us with an expectation to proclaim his love and grace in this world.
Stay tuned next week for the next chapters in Jonah!