Jonah 3:2

The words truth or dare, remind me of the Book of Jonah, and the consequences that can come about when we fail to do God’s will.

Jonah had been told by God to go to Nineveh, and cry against it, but Jonah had other plans and boarded a ship for Tarshis, daring the Lord to force Him to do as he asked. While in the ship a great storm came up, and through a series of questions and and answers it was found to be that Jonah was the cause of it. Jonah finally told them to throw him overboard, and all would be well. During a toss into the sea, a whale sent by God just happened to be yawing at the time, and away went Jonah into the belly of the whale. Now Jonah is really in a fix, he can’t sleep because there is no place to lay his head, and the whale bellows all the time, and besides that the sea weed and other small creatures of the sea are taking up space. He has no where to turn except to God, so he begins to tell Him all that he has done and how the Lord heard him. All the while feeling sorry for self and saying ” while I was fainting away, I remembered you God.

God causes the whale to vomit Jonah onto the beach, which was a relief for the whale, because Jonah was making him sick to his stomach. I can see Jonah lying on the beach sprawled out like a beached salmon, with bits of shrimp in his hair and beard, sea weed coiled around his head and body, and a pretty foul odor about him. The whale is lying on it’s side with one eye gazing skyward, and praying God never does that again. Jonah’s color is not exactly what a day on the beach does to a person, and he is told to go to Nineveh again. After a brief rest, Jonah heads to Nineveh to tell them the truth of what God has said, proclaiming the news for three days. Jonah was not particularly happy about the whole thing because in his eyes they were all heathens any way.

When the people repented and turned to God, it displeased Jonah and made him very angry. He did not like any part of this, so went out from the city, made a shelter and sat under it, watching to see what would happen to the city The Lord appointed a plant to cover his head to relieve his discomfort.

This made Jonah happy, because at last he didn’t have to do anything again, but the next day a worm sent by God began to eat the plant. Guess what! Jonah is angry again, and in addition to that, a hot wind is blowing and blistering the top of his head causing him more grief. It seem like he has an even disposition of always angry. However the Lord tells Jonah, that He had compassion on the plant, that Jonah did not even plant, just as the Lord has compassion on the people and animals of Nineveh whom He created.

The moral of this story, is when God tells us to spread His truth to the world, we do as told, and if we dare go against Him there will be consequences.

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