Thursday, February 19, 2015
Runaway Fish Prophet, Part 6
It was Day Two of his journey through the city of Nineveh. Nineveh was quite large. When he first arrived at the bustling city of sin, he was told that it would take three days to walk straight through the city, from end to end. Feeling the Lord move his spirit that this was the best course of action, he started walking straight through the city, proclaiming the message of coming judgment.
He was sick and tired of this trek. His feet hurt. His neck hurt. His voice hurt. Day Three couldn't come fast enough.
And the things he had seen made him sick. Literally. He had been physically ill while viewing a sacrifice to one of the many idols that were seemingly everywhere.
He cleared his throat before yelling. "In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!"
People were listening though. Not everyone, and not immediately, but in the wake of his message, there was change. Jonah had been held up for hours yesterday answering questions and telling people about his mighty God and His fierce judgment due to their abominable ways.
Many had collapsed then and there, wailing and crying out for mercy. They covered themselves with ashes and put on sackcloth. He had even heard them calling for a fast. Jonah imagined that word would soon reach the king. That's when things could get really interesting.
For all he knew, he could be dead by the dawn of the next morning.
"Yet in forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.
"You there! What's the meaning of this, man?"
Jonah turned to the gravely voice that addressed him. The man was wearing a uniform, and he had a spear pointed at Jonah. Oh goody. He took a deep breath, and looked the soldier in the eye. "God has condemned this city to destruction due to your wickedness. In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!"
Jonah closed his eyes, expecting a spear to slide through his chest.
Instead, he heard it clang as it fell to the ground.
Based on Jonah 3:3-5
When I read these verses, a mental image goes through my mind. Jonah is the light of God, and as he walks through that city proclaiming God's message, it's like he's turning on the God light in the minds and hearts of those people. I just picture a rising sun. The darkness fading away the more he shouts his message. The more he shouts the more the people respond sincerely.
Soon, there was real change.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5
The people of Nineveh had previously refused to change. In Jonah 1:2 God said to Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." Because God sent Jonah with a message of coming destruction, they could see that they were indeed darkness.
"God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, (Selah) because they do not change and do not fear God." Psalm 55:19
So they changed. They repented. They stopped their wicked ways.
But what if, what if Jonah hadn't?
"For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8
If Jonah hadn't obeyed God, there would have been no light for those people to see. So my question for you guys today is, do you walk as children of the light? Do people see God in you? Is your witness like the rising sun? Does darkness run when you come? In order for people to see the darkness, they need to see the light. That's how they know the difference. You and I, we need to be the difference. We need to be the light.
V. Joy Palmer