Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jonah

Besides the fact that it is the word of God and full of life-changing truth, the Bible is a truly beautiful and well written book. The poetry is beautiful, the descriptions are snappy and clear, and the stories are amazing.
One thing I love about the stories in the Bible, something that gets lost sometimes when you try to make a movie or a novel out of it, is how clearly you can see the hand of God working through the character's lives. In Jonah, for example.
Jonah is told by God to take a message to Nineveh. He refuses, because he does not like Ninevites. He tries to run away on a ship, and God sends an awful storm. When the sailors on the ship find out that Jonah is trying to run from God, they throw him into the sea, where a big fish (sent by God) swallows him up. He is kept alive inside this big fish until he gets spit up onto shore and takes the message.
The thing that is really awesome about this story is that the Ninevites were a fish worshipping culture. Their god was in the shape of a big fish. So when Jonah came straggling into the city, his hair and skin bleached white by the stomach acid of the fish, and explained that his God was the creator of the fish and had kept him safe and told the fish to spit him out, the Ninevites were astonished. This God was obviously bigger than their puny fish god. They were afraid because they realizd they had been worshipping a creation rather than the Creator, so they repented and began to follow the one true God.
This story is amazing to me because God used Jonah's disobedience and turned it into a good thing. Being swallowed by a fish is normally bad, and Jonah probably thought it was his punishment for disobeying. Well, it was a consequence of disobeying, but it turned into a good witness to bring other people to the truth. Isn't that amazing? God is totally in control.

~Jane~

1 comment:

K.M. Weiland said...

Jonah is most definitely a powerful story. As discouraging as Jonah himself can be, it's *always* encouraging to know that God can always use us, no matter how badly we mess things up.