New Life Church | Daily Devo - Ellen Hutchinson
Jonah 1:1-3; Acts 9:36 – 10:23; Psalm 139:8-10
When God spoke to Jonah, He was commanding him to go to the greatest city in the known world, the capital of the Assyrian empire, a city that was so large that it would take three full days to walk from one end of it to the other. The nation had not reached its height of power but was still growing, expanding territorially.
And Jonah ran away to Joppa, to get on a boat to go to Tarshish (the furthest known port in the world at that time), because he didn’t want to save the gentiles from their wickedness. In this very same seaside town about 800 years later, Peter through the power of the Holy Spirit raised a woman from the dead, then had a vision that led him to understand that the gospel was to be taken to the gentiles! This story of Jonah comes full circle in the book of Acts!
But what does this tell us about Jonah? Was he a godly man, a righteous man? Yes. But he was full of judgment and hatred toward the lost, the wicked even. He had no desire to WARN THEM that they were about to be obliterated. (Note that God’s command to Jonah didn’t even give him a hint that God might relent if the people repent!)
Then there is this idea that you can actually “run away from the Lord.” Where is there a place where God is not that you can run?
Here is the first opportunity to compare and contrast Jonah & Jesus; Jonah in one way represents the nation of Israel (stubborn, going his own way, doing his own thing).