每日诗歌: Away In A Manger
Jonah 1 [Read]
Revelation 9 [Read]
Jonah teaches submission. Specifically, it teaches a man’s progression toward total submission to God.
God called Jonah to deliver a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh (Jon 1:2), but he refused to go. According to his own testimony, he is a Hebrew and he fears God (1:9) and he knew that God would not let him go easily (1:12). However, he still chose to make the futile effort to run away from God. So, he ended up in the stomach of a great fish (1:17). God can work wonder even out of man’s rebellion, and the sailors actually got to know the LORD through this incident (1:16). But for the prophet, he refused to submit to God.
Jonah repented and prayed to the LORD inside the fish. Man seems to see things much more clearly in desperation, and affliction often is the way God uses of drawing people to him. “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD” (2:9). With this the fish vomited Jonah onto dry land (2:10). After such experience, Jonah learned to obey the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh to preach the urgency of repentance (3:3-4). The message was received with immediate action (3:6), and the whole city fasted and prayed to God. God relented and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened (3:10).
But that displeased Jonah (4:1). “I told you so!” was the complaint from him (4:2). It seems that the prophet was upset by the mercy and grace God showed to the penitent people of Nineveh, probably because those people were the oppressors of Israel. The prophet has his own idea of how justice should be served. He might have obeyed God’s command after the fish experience (3:3), but he was still far from true submission to the LORD.
We so often get stuck in our spiritual growth like Jonah did. We learned to obey the command without submitting to the commander. Our mind is convinced by God’s righteousness and power, but our heart still questions his will. From the standpoint of total submission, Jonah is an unfinished book. Its conclusion came as our Lord Jesus demonstrated to us what true submission was before his crucifixion. “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39). So, do not allow yourself to be stuck in Jonah. Move on to Jesus, for he is the one in whom the abundant life can be realized.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 58th book.