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Read Jonah 1:1-3:9. Click on this link to read the passage. You may select the translation you prefer on the Bible Gateway website.

Jonah 1:1-2  This was no small order. Jonah and most of the Jews hated the people of Ninevah. But God told him to go and tell them that He was going to destroy their city because they were so wicked.

Where is there a Ninevah in or near your community? Are you willing to go to them and share the Gospel with them?

Jonah 1:3  What did Jonah do? He bolted and ran in the opposite direction. He spent his own money to purchase a ticket to run away from God.

What do we do in response to God’s directive to teach the Gospel to the world? Are you reaching out to the Ninevah in your community? If not, what is holding you back?

Jonah 1:4-17  Jonah paid a high price for his disobedience. Not only the price of his ticket to board the ship, but the price of being thrown into the sea and being swallowed by the fish (whale).

What price(s) have you paid at times when you rebelled against God?

Jonah 2  Then Jonah came to his senses. He hadn’t run far enough to get away from God, and God came to his rescue. Jonah’s prayer from inside the whale is powerful. It tells of his desperation as his life was ebbing away, of his vow to keep his promises to God. Then God commanded the fish (whale) to vomit him on dry land.

When have you been in the pits of despair and prayed for God to rescue you? Can you relate to Jonah’s prayer? Sometimes this is the manner that God must use to get our attention. Have you thanked Him for bringing you to your wit’s end so you would again reach out to Him? If not, thank him now.

Jonah 3:1-2 Again God called Jonah to go to preach to the Ninevites.

Has God given you a second chance to respond to his call?

Jonah 3:3-4  Jonah went immediately this time. It took him three days to cover the city and give the message to all the people.

Have you taken advantage of second chances to obey God’s call on your life?

Jonah 3:5  The people heard Jonah’s message and repented at once. I’m certain that Jonah’s appearance helped him to get their attention, and his explanation of why he looked like he did caused them to take God’s message seriously. If God could cause a fish (whale) to swallow Jonah and then spit him out again after three days, what might He do to the city of Ninevah?

Have your hardships ever opened doors for witness that you might not have experienced otherwise?

Jonah 3:6-9  Even the king repented and commanded all people and all animals to fast in sackcloth and ashes.

If it happened in Ninevah, perhaps it can happen in the USA. Where is your Ninevah? Are you willing to go to them?

Father God, give us listening ears and willing hands, feet, and hearts to hear your call when you speak to us. Enable us to be willing to see the Ninevahs in our community and to reach out to them. It wasn’t comfortable for Jonah to reach out to the Ninevites, but you didn’t accept that as an excuse from Him. Neither should we expect you to accept that excuse from us. Grant us courage of heart and willing spirits to reach out to others with your Gospel and your love.

© 2009 by Janice D. Green

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