Tale of two cities

whale saying Hello

Remember being a kid and your parents telling you to go somewhere, then you going somewhere else against their wishes? One of the most famous stories in the Bible that we learn is the story of “Jonah and the whale“. Whale, fish, either way same story. Kids take one thing from this story…..the fishy part.

The main part of this story however, is about making the choice to do what God wants you to do with your life. Quick summary here, Jonah was a man of God, a Jew. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to minister and preach to the bad people who lived there. It was a nice town, just full of gentiles which, at this point in history were the Jews biggest enemies. The way the Jews believed was that, when there was food in Israel and famine in Nineveh, that was God’s blessing and his own way of saving the blessings for Israel and not for them. When God allowed there to be famine in Israel, and food in Nineveh however, that was God’s way of punishing Israel for their wicked ways. No Jew, especially a man of God like Jonah, wanted good things to happen to Nineveh, they wanted to keep all of God’s blessings for themselves, and to heck with everyone else!

Scripture says “The word of the Lord came to Jonah saying ‘Wake up and go to Nineveh, and cry against it”. God was calling the people of Nineveh to turn from their wicked ways, stop being heathens and depend on him. Jonah decided instead, to travel to Tarshish to get out of having to go. But on the boat to Tarshish the storm came, the heathens were terrified and woke up Jonah who was sleeping. Jonah knew that this storm was the work of the Lord, so knowing that it was his own fault, he threw himself from the boat, the storm calmed, the whale came, and we know the rest of the story, at some point Jonah repented and went to Nineveh and ministered the way God wanted him to.

It is not important how the word of God came to Jonah, the important thing is that it DID come. That is the main thing in your case and mine, isn’t it? God constantly comes to us, speaks to us, and tries to lead us. How often do we actually listen. You see, Nineveh was a great city, despite the fact that the residents were heathens. Even still, Jonah did not want to go. His reluctance wasn’t because of conviction over knowing that few if anyone in the city would actually listen to his message.

Often we feel that it is useless to try to speak to certain people in our lives about God. At one point people said that missionary work was pointless. How often we forget that deep inside every human being is an emptiness and hunger that only God can fulfill. Jonah was terrified that Nineveh would repent, and the Jews would have to share their blessings with them. Jonah, despite knowing that God created everything, still viewed God as only the God of Israel. In Jonah’s mind there were only two cities on his map! There was Nineveh, a place where he could fellowship with others in God’s name. Then there was Tarshish the place at the end of the road that is travelled by the rebellious. I don’t know where your Nineveh is, but I know you have one, because I know that I do, and everyone I know does too. It could be your Bible that you run from, your church, an outreach project, singing in the choir, greeting at the doors on Sundays, or tons of other things that God could be calling you to do.

In the end the question is simple, will you listen? Will you run away to Tarshish in order to be comfortable? Or, will you willingly and proudly walk into the front door of Nineveh with your head held high! In one sense, Jonah was a very insightful man, even during his troubles. Jonah knew, that to run away from your duty, was to run away from God. When you make up your mind to refuse to move in the direction God wants you to move in, you also make the decision to refuse the friendship that God wants to have with you. You can’t walk with Jesus, and rebel against him at the same time. It won’t be sunshine and roses just because you walk with Christ, but Jesus makes all things work together for the good of his believers. Let’s face it, a man with his mind made up to do wrong things, if far more at rest than the man whose mind is not made up at all. If you are reading this now and want that friendship, want to give that obedience to God but do not know how, and have yet to find true salvation, or have been away from Jesus and want to accept him again, and do it the right way, I have outlined exactly how to do that. Just click HERE.

Today, if you already have salvation, and are entirely certain of it, then I present one question. Which city are you heading to?

God bless you,

Chris

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2 Responses to “Tale of two cities”

  1. Jonah « Earthpages.ca Says:

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  2. Second Chances | YOU DECIDE Says:

    […] Tale of two cities (fyi5.wordpress.com) […]

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