Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
December 21 Scripture Selection: Jonah
Food for Thought: Jon. 1:1-3, 12-16; 2:1-10; 3:5-10; 4:2
Jonah did what so many people foolishly do: they try to run from God. Some are running from their calling; some are running out of fear of failure; some are running because of self-condemnation; and some are running from the Light because they prefer the darkness, they think. Regardless of their motive, what would ever make them think that they could hide from the Almighty, Omnipresent God or run so far in the opposite direction that He could not see them? Notice in the book of Jonah what happens when they stop running away from Him and run to Him, instead.
It took Jonah quite a while before he actually did that, but the sailors who worshiped false gods realized Who they were dealing with quickly and actually began to fear Him and offered sacrifices to Him. But Jonah didn’t cry out to the Lord for deliverance until he had languished in agony in the belly of the great fish for three days. Some people wait until they have hit bottom in their lives and fallen in their deepest despair before crying out to Him; yet because He is great in compassion and mercy, He still answers, anyway. The pagan people of Nineveh, a city of the ancient Assyrian empire, were known for their life-style of utter wickedness and fierce treatment of their enemies. Yet when they heard the news that the Lord was planning to bring judgment on them, their immediate reaction was to repent and plead to God for mercy, which He gladly gave them.
Jonah admitted that he didn’t want to warn the people of Nineveh because he knew that God would show them mercy if they repented. He said, “ I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm (4:2).” For anyone who is running in the opposite direction, that is great news! The Lord is waiting with open arms to receive him/her and give him/her a better life. All that is needed is to turn around and call out to Him.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):