Jonah 3:2

“Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” (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 to cry against it, but Jonah had other plans and boarded a ship for Tarshis, daring the Lord to force him to do as asked. While in the ship a great storm came up and through a series of questions 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 that 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, the whale bellows all the time and besides that sea weed and other small creatures of the sea are taking up space. He has nowhere to turn except to God, so he begins to tell Him all that he has done and how the Lord has 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 its side with one eye gazing skyward, and praying God never does that again. Jonah 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 while thing because in his eyes they were all heathens anyway.

When the people relented 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 grow over his head to relieve his discomfort. This made Jonah happy, because at last he didn’t have to do anything, 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 seems like he has an even disposition of always angry. however, the Lord tells Jonah that he had compassion on the plant that he did not even plant, just as the Lord has compassion on the people and animals of Nineveh whome he created.

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

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