S (Scripture): Jonah 1:1 The Lord’s word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: 2 “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention.”
3 So Jonah got up—to flee to Tarshish from the Lord! He went down to Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went aboard to go with them to Tarshish, away from the Lord.
O (Observation): Jonah responded to the Lord. He responded alright – in the opposite direction! Later on, Jonah admits that he never liked the Ninevites. He just knew God would have mercy on them. He wouldn’t be able to stand to see mercy on them, if that is how things were going to turn out.
Jonah was so reluctant to follow the Lord’s word that he takes off in the opposite direction!
A (Application): We all have had our Jonah experiences: You want me to do what, Lord? In my life, that means donating 10% of our income, praying in the home, singing hymns sometimes, worshipping every week, spending part of our Thanksgiving morning serving others in our community, and on and on.
We all have our “Ninevah’s” too, don’t we? Folks or movements that we don’t think deserve God’s mercy, yet God is calling us to extend that mercy, anyway.
Where is your Tarshish – that place you run to to flee God’s calling? Is it your home? The office? The internet?
See what beauty God has in store for you. Follow God’s call. See what that mercy looks like. I can’t promise you that you’ll love it, or even like it…but maybe you’ll learn something about our God.
P (Prayer): Lord, give us the strength to face the Ninevah’s in our world, to bear your Gospel message wherever we go. Amen.