Jonah and the Great Fish
We have one more Sunday in our Jonah “Coming Home” worship series.
Question: what stands out to you the most about Jonah and the great fish?
Jonah’s disobedience? Jonah’s deliverance? The seeming impossibility of this story?
Let me ask you a further question: What is the purpose of the book? What’s it really about—at its heart and core? Certainly it isn’t Jonah’s fish-experience—that takes up only a couple of verses in the book. It’s startling, and therefore, memorable, but it isn’t the main point.
“Well, probably something about Jonah’s running from God.” Pretty good. But still not the central message. “How about repentance of the city of Nineveh? That’s a biggy.” Correct. It surely is—yet, not the most prominent feature in the book. “Well, then, let me see? Is it Jonah’s attitude—you know, about the death of the plant, and all that?” Another important feature, but still no cigar! “OK. OK. Tell me. I give up.”
There are all those things you mentioned—you might even call them mini-lessons of the book. But there is one fact that trumps them all. In six places throughout Jonah there appears the expression “God appointed,” or a similar one.
God appointed a storm that he “hurled” into the sea. God appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. God directed his travel route and unusual disembarkment at the shore. God caused a plant to grow and shade Jonah. God appointed a worm to gnaw at it, and kill it. God appointed a sultry East wind and scorching sun to challenge Jonah.
If anything stands out it is God’s providence. That’s the theme of the book. God is in control - not only planning God’s work, but also working God’s plan. No doubt, God is in control and personally directs all that happens, and personally directs circumstances to assure that God’s plans and purposes are achieved.
Are you allowing God to control your life and thanking God for the circumstances of your life?
Is it about you? Is it about your circumstances? Or is it about God’s direction of your life and your obedience in saying “yes”?
When God says “Go East.” GO EAST!!!
Journeying with you.