Saturday, September 28, 2019

Jonah 1 & 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jonah 1 & 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In this first half of the book of Jonah, God tells Jonah to travel to a city called Nineveh. God wanted to use Jonah to communicate with the people who lived there.
  • Instead, Jonah intentionally disobeys God. He goes the exact opposite direction of where God told him. He hops on a boat headed for Tarshish.
  • Nineveh (where God wanted Jonah to go) and Tarshish (where Jonah decided to go) were thousands of miles apart. In modern terms, it would be like God telling Jonah to go to New York City, then Jonah booking a flight to San Francisco.
  • The boat Jonah boards ends up getting tossed and turned in a violent storm. Convinced he is the cause of the chaos, Jonah urges the crew to throw him overboard. And... they do. 
  • Jonah ends up getting swallowed alive by a massive fish.
  • Jonah is stuck inside the fish, unsure of if or when he will make it out. With plenty of time to sit with his thoughts, Jonah throws a sort of bipolar pity party, feeling bad for himself while also praising God. 
  • After three days, the fish spits Jonah out onto the beach.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • If Jonah had obeyed God when he told Jonah to go to Nineveh, this whole mess would have been avoided.
  • The sooner we obey God, the easier it is for him to use us to make an impact.
  • However, even if we have tried to run from God, he still loves us and still hears us. It's never too late to turn to him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there something God is calling you to do that you haven't done? Maybe it's ending an unhealthy relationship, or breaking an addiction, or having a hard conversation. Make today the day you stop putting it off and start doing what God wants you to do.