Jonah: A Whale of a Tale
By Carolyn Dale Newell
We conclude our Jonah series today with two more devotions from the book of Jonah. Please take time to read this little OT book. You will be blessed.
But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.
And should I not pity Nineveh…”
Jon. 4:10-11 (NKJV)
The greatest revival in history was at Nineveh when Jonah preached. However, Jonah was not happy, but he was angry that God would save these wicked people who had terrorized Israel. He made a shelter just outside the city, possibly waiting for them to backslide and receive God’s wrath.
Overnight, God prepared a plant to give Jonah shade. Jonah was overjoyed at the plant –happier than he was about Nineveh’s repentance.
Then God sent a worm to destroy the plant and a scorching wind that made Jonah very hot. Jonah was furious – even wishing to die.
God questioned Jonah about his anger and his compassion for a plant which he had not labored over. Yet, Jonah could not comprehend God’s compassion for the Ninevehites whom He had created. How could Jonah have more joy for this plant than these people? The book of Jonah closes with this very question.
Although Jonah repented, obeyed God and preached in Nineveh, his prejudice had grown into a deep rooted hatred. His priorities were messed up. His joy was in his comfort.
We must guard our hearts against such things. We often think of ourselves, our comforts and our possessions which can disappear so quickly, more than we think of others. “…For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Prov. 23:5). Let’s have Christ’s compassion rather than Jonah’s.
THE MIRACLES IN JONAH
But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.
Jon. 1:4 (NKJV)
The book of Jonah is packed full of miracles. The stormy sea was the first, and it started with a miraculous wind. (There was another supernatural wind sent out in Jon.4:8, which was over the land.) The sea calmed down immediately after the sailors threw Jonah overboard (Jon. 1:15). “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.” (Ps. 89:9).
God also prepared many miraculous animals and plants: a great fish, a plant which grew overnight, and a worm to destroy the plant. God also spoke to the fish when He wanted it to vomit Jonah onto the land (Jon. 2:10). Without a doubt, God controls all creation: animals, plants, and weather. Think how much more He controls the circumstances in our lives.
Surely, the greatest miracles were the salvation of about 600,000 people in Nineveh. There is also a good possibility that the sailors on the ship may have been saved after they witnessed the calming of the sea.
So many miracles should speak volumes to us about the power of God. We should never doubt what He will do. He is mighty and able to do anything He wills because God never changes (Heb. 13:8). He is the same today as He was in the Old Testament. Be encouraged, Christian, God is still powerful.
Help us keep our priorities straight, putting people before projects. Destroy any prejudices we may harbor. Help us trust You for miracles today because You are the same powerful God that did so many miracles long ago. Amen.
Read the book of Jonah.
HIKING THE TRAIL
What prejudices do you have? Ask God to deliver you from them. Do you believe God still does miracles? Why or why not?
Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.