When God’s Plans Aren’t So Pleasant

“Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”     Jonah 1:2 LSB

Jonah was God’s prophet. God commanded him to go to the city of Nineveh and warn the people there that God had had enough of their disobedience. Nineveh was the last place Jonah wanted to go and these were the last people he wanted to see, so he had another plan. Jonah decided he would get away from God and go to Tarshish on a ship.

Just so you understand, Ninevah was a land filled a land filled with some evil, wicked people. Jonah may have feared that they would decide to kill the messenger should he go there and tell them God was angry and fed up with their evil ways and they needed to repent.

Jonah didn’t like these people. They were evil. If we are honest, I am sure we all have people that we know who are evil and we don’t find them so pleasant to be around.

The first thought that comes to my mind as I read the book of Jonah is, “Silly Jonah, God’s omnipresent meaning he’s everywhere. How do you get away from a living God that is everywhere at one time? You can’t. Why would Jonah think he could get away from God?

Charles Spurgeon had this to say about Jonah trying to flee God’s presence. He said that Jonah had a command from the Lord but felt it would not be pleasant or would not honor himself, so he declined to comply with it. Charles Spurgeon then went on to say that we see from what Jonah did how someone who really knows God might act as though he does not know Him. Jonah knew God was everywhere, yet he tried to flee from God.

Do you know God? Do you consider yourself to be in a solid relationship with God? Do you act like you really know God, or do you act as someone who knows nothing about God?

Sometimes God commands us to do the hard stuff. We may not run away, but we may procrastinate. We may just downright rebel and refuse to do it. Well, if you continue reading Jonah you will see that God brought a great storm that tossed that ship like we might toss a salad.  In order to save the sailors, Jonah finally told them to throw him overboard. Then the big fish swallowed him, and he spent three days in the belly of a large fish.

As he reflected on his poor choices, he repented for not doing as God had commanded. God forgave him and had the fish vomit him out and he went on to Ninevah. The people heard his message and repented. He was mad about that too, but that’s another blog for another day.

There are some things we need to understand and learn from Jonah. First, we can’t hide from God. Secondly, if you think God is giving you some unpleasant circumstances to go through, know that it could be worse. Remember, that God will work all things out for your good as long as you love Him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This means to do as God commands us to do.

Jonah was commanded to go to Ninevah and preach and encourage those people to repent. He was to get God’s message to those people. I realize that this may have seemed like a very unpleasant task, but when you compare it to being encased in fish guts for three days, what’s worse?

Running from God will only leave us tired and may even lead to more unpleasantness like ending up in the belly of a big fish.

When God calls us to do something, no matter how unpleasant it may seem, we must understand He will equip us and protect us. When we fail to do what God calls us to do, we may find ourselves in a much more unpleasant situation, just sayin’.

Have a great day!