Devotions on Emotions (and Scripture) by the First Pres. Pastors
A reflection on Jonah 1-4
Silly may not be one of the first words that comes to your mind when you think of God or stories from the Bible. When I think of silly, the story of Jonah comes to mind. It is not that long and I invite you to read the book of Jonah. Its four chapters are filled with lessons about God’s call, mercy, and patience. So, why do I think of Jonah when I think of silly?
It is silly for Jonah to think he can outrun God’s call by taking a boat to Tarshish.
It is silly for Jonah to think that he can disobey God without repercussions.
It is silly to think of a giant fish swallowing a man whole, where he spends three days and three nights in prayer.
It is silly to think of Jonah being spit up by this fish on the shores of Nineveh.
It is silly to think that the entire city of Nineveh, including the king, all believed Jonah’s prophetic message and repented by fasting and wearing sackcloth.
It is silly that Jonah got mad at God for being gracious, compassionate, and forgiving.
When you think about, some of Jonah’s responses are just as silly as some of our behaviors today.
Isn’t it silly how we often do things we know are not what God would want us to do?
Isn’t it silly how often we think we can get away with ignoring what God has called us to do?
Isn’t it silly to dismiss the idea of a giant fish when we overlook the myriad of instruments that God uses to keep us on the right path or remind us of His presence (a Christian song on the radio, a friend’s uplifting text on a tough day, or a beautiful sunset)?
Isn’t it silly how we get mad when God shows mercy on someone who we think doesn’t deserve it (no matter how disobedient we may have been)?
Thanks be to God, who continues to reach out to all of us in mercy, patience, and grace. May we show our gratitude by extending others the same.
Holy God, we give you thanks for the grace you have shown throughout history. Help us to be mindful of your call and respond with obedience and gladness of heart. May we seek your will as share your love and forgiveness with those around us. Amen.