Daily Devotional

"'What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?'  So he said to them, 'I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who make the sea and the dry land.'"
 Jonah 1:8-9

Here's a brief synopsis of the story of Jonah:

The Lord told Jonah to "arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 91:2) Instead of obeying God Jonah found a ship to Tarshis and fled. So God sent a storm that caused the ship to be in danger of capsizing. It was then the men on the ship came to Jonah and asked him to "call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish." (vs 6) Ultimately, because of his disobedience to God, the men threw Jonah into the sea. But God provided a large fish to swallow him and while in the belly of the fish Jonah repented of his disobedience and God caused the fish to vomit him onto dry land. Then Jonah went to Nineveh and warned the people. They repented and God relented from the disaster that He was going to bring upon them.

There's so much more to this story but as I was reading through it this time I was struck by Jonah's answer when they asked him his occupation and where he was from. The first verse of the book of Jonah tells us he was the son of Amittai. It seems as though he would have told them the town he was from, what he did for a living and who his earthly family was. In spite of his actions Jonah knew, not just who he was but, "whose" he was. And, although his first response was to flee from following God's command; when confronted with the suffering from the affliction God brought upon him (2:2), the anguish of the separation from God that it caused (2:4) and the recognition of the Lord's provision to save his life (2:6), he repented from his disobedience.

But did God change His original call on Jonah? NO! He sent him to Nineveh, Jonah gave His message, Nineveh repented and God withheld His wrath.

There's so many lessons to be learned from this small, brief story of Jonah's life. So many areas not touched on here. But this time in reading through it, I was reminded to keep leaning into the Lord, even when faced with hard decisions. And I am so very grateful for the Lord's merciful patience to continue to love us into obedience.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James VersionĀ®. Copyright Ā© 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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