We Can Not Hide From God

Published 7:45 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

In the Old Testament, the Book of Jonah is considered as a minor prophet. Jonah was the son of Amittai and was from the tribe of Zebulon. (2Kings 14:25). The Book has only four short chapters but they are powerful and thought provoking. It is showing the awesome power of God and also, the love he has for his people. Jonah’s personal name means “Dove”. The purpose is to show the extent of God’s grace. Jonah was also described as a reluctant prophet. I must say, we see the same thing happening today. When God gives some of us an assignment, we try to run and hide from Him. Psalms 139 lets us know that we can not flee from God’s presence. We might be out of his will, but He knows where we are at all times and what we are doing.

God gave Jonah an assignment to go to a great city called Nineveh. God saw their wickedness and wanted to warn them because he was going to destroy the city. The Bible also tells us that there were more than 120,000 people there that did not know their left hand from their right hand and many livestock. The Bible tells us that Jonah hated the Ninevites and wanted to see them punished. Jonah was afraid the people would repent. He is also considered as a rebel. Jonah was disobedient to the Lord which caused great consequences in the end. We can relate that to today’s problems with some of our families, churches, communities, and anyone who has been given an assignment by God. When we fail to obey God and start doing things our way that is when we find ourselves in trouble. But, I am glad that the Lord is still willing to help us according to his grace and mercy.

The Bible tells us that Jonah went down to Joppa, which was the opposite way. In other words, he turned a deaf ear or did an about face (military terms). He paid the fare and boarded a ship to Tarshish. He was so comfortable he even went down below the deck and fell fast asleep. God knew where Jonah was and even knew what he was going to do. The Lord sent a great wind and a violent storm arose. It arose so fast that the ship threatened to break up and the sailors were so afraid. Each sailor cried out to their god (small “g”), but their god could not help. That lets us know that when we are running from God, we can not get away. Things got so terrible that the captain went down the deck and asked Jonah, “How can you sleep when we are in a storm; get up and call on your God.” Jonah already knew what the problem was. He knew God sent the storm because he was trying to run. The Bible tells us the sailors cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. They questioned him and he told them he was a Hebrew. They had to throw Jonah overboard in order for the storm to stop. The Lord had a great fish to swallow Jonah and he was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. God’s grace never ends.

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It is so amazing that Jonah wanted God to deliver him, but he wanted God to punish the Ninevites. I am so glad that God hears and answers our prayers, even when we are down to our very lowest. God heard Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish. If we humble ourselves and pray, and be sincere from our heart, God will also hear us. God gave Jonah a second chance and he obeyed. However, Jonah still wanted the Ninevites to be punished. There are certain matters we must leave for the Lord to handle. He will deal with the wicked, but he gives everyone a chance to repent and be saved. The king made a decree and everyone obeyed and repented from the greatest to the least and their lives were spared. If God forgave the Ninevites, he will also forgive us. That does not mean that we will not suffer for our disobedience and pay for our wrong doing. But, the Bible tells us those God loves, he chastises. In the end, the Lord will be glorified, we will be a better person to be used by the Lord, and others will be blessed.

Prayer: “Lord, help us all to be obedient and do our assignment You have called each of us to do, in Jesus’ name. Amen!”
Rev. Adren Bivins, Sr. – Clergy
Founder of the Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center, Inc.
A Non-profit Organization
P. O. Box 7939
Bainbridge, GA 39818
(229) 465-3752 (229) 416-0884