The Parable of a prophet on his way down.
The primary purpose of the book of Jonah is to engage readers in theological reflection on the compassionate character of God, and in self-reflection on the degree to which their own character reflects this compassion, to the end that they become vehicles of this compassion in the world that God has made and so deeply cares about.
The book is a parable, I believe, to teach believers not to be like Jonah and it does a great job in seven episodes about the dangers of edging God out (EGO)
What I want to do in this blog series, is to break these seven episodes down into five. Five mistakes to avoid, five pit holes to beware of, five traps to escape, five reason not to be like Jonah.
Before I tell you why you should not be like Jonah, let me tell you what Jonah did or didn’t do:
He deliberately refused to share the love of God with a dying world
He deliberately walked away from the presence of God
He deliberately withheld Compassion
He deliberately shut down his prayer life
He demanded his comfort above everything else
I will unpack the above in five episodes, but here is why you should not be like Jonah: Everything about him went down.
He went down to Joppa
He went down into the ship
He went down into the sea
He went down into the belly of a fish
The suggestion here is, each time Jonah chose to deliberately step away from God’s commission, God’s presence, God’s compassion, Communication with God, it was one step down into darkness, it was a step down toward disaster, a step down toward death.
Satan always provides transportation for the soul running away from the Lord (MHC)
The bible says the he paid the fair
It will cost you everything when you choose to be like Jonah. You will go down, you will lose everything… It will cost you. Whatever soul turns from the Lord finds always that a price is exacted. The prodigal son paid for his excursion into the far country with a sojourn in the swine pen; Judas paid for his thirty pieces of silver with a hangman’s rope in the field of blood (Acts 1:19). Every sinner and disobedient child of God on earth today is paying the fare.
Let’s talk about edging God out of our witness tomorrow! How we often turn and run the other way from sharing, truth, love, compassion and forgiveness. Would join me?