03 Aug God’summon and Jonah response 2
Top of the day, surely goodness and mercy shall follow you today. You are blessed in Jesus name.
We will go further in our discussion on the call of God and Jonah’s response.
A call like we said earlier is a summon. With particular reference to our text it is a call by the higher than the highest, the creator and the owner of all creation, the Almighty God to a frail mortal being called Jonah.
God will always need the instrumentality of man to execute his plans and purposes on earth. The call can therefore be seen as an invitation to partner with God to execute His plans and purposes. For instance, He called Abraham to raise the nation of Israel, and called Moses to deliver the children of Israel bondage in Israel.
Jonah was called to preach repentance to a wicked city, Nineveh. Jonah, in Hebrew literally means a dove. The dove is a small wild pigeon, it is usually used to describe a person who takes a conciliatory attitude and advocate negotiations and compromise; especially an opponent of war.
Jonah was called to a ministry of reconciliation. He was only been asked to live up to his name. But what was his response? It is necessary to point out that the plans and purposes of God are always eternal, no matter how temporary it looks. God will always patiently wait for men’s response, He wants an assurance of their willingness.
The narrative says “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went to Joppa, and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
This was a subtle way of telling God, “I will have nothing to do with this call”. It was an outright rejection of God’s invitation to Jonah to help save a people.
Like many of us today, rather than following the direction of God he chose his own way. The Scripture tells us ”there are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” ( Proverb 19:21). We are told that Jonah paid his way through to go to Tarshish to escape the presence of the Lord.
This story may appear ridiculous because we are only told he was going to Tarshish to escape the presence of the lord, bearing in mind that God is everywhere. It is, however, instructive to note that this is the way the average man lives his life as a pilgrim here on earth. We are always keen and interested in following our plans even when God is asking us to follow His.
We soon forget that we are creatures and not the creator. He alone knows the way through the wilderness of life.
Many of our suffering, hardships and frustration in life comes from not following in His path and direction for our lives. We need to make up our minds to follow the lord and ask Him to direct our steps daily in His path.
“O lord, I know that the way of man is not himself; It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps”. Jeremiah 10:23
“O lord order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me”. Psalm 119:133