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Day 15 | Jonah & The Fish

Read Jonah 1:17

In Jonah’s four short chapters, we see an incredible arc. God commands Jonah to minister to Nineveh, he disobeys, ends up in a fish for three days and nights, repents, eventually obeys, Nineveh repents and turns to God, and Jonah sulks about it.

The truly miraculous part of the whole narrative isn’t the fact that Jonah was in the belly of a sea creature for three days and nights, as amazing as that is! What is astounding is the divine interplay between the Creator and His creation. God planned to destroy Nineveh because of their utter wickedness and violence – trying to be gods themselves. However, because Nineveh repented, God “changed His mind and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened.” God changed His mind? And yet, that’s precisely why Jonah disobeyed God. Jonah says, “That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” Jonah claimed to be “a Hebrew who worshipped the God of Heaven,” but he actually didn’t know or trust God, and therefore didn’t live into God’s mission: to help the lost find their way back to God.

Jesus refers to the prophet Jonah saying, “Nineveh will stand up against [the disobedient Israelite] generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here – but you refuse to repent” (Matthew 12:41). Jesus’ mission is clear: “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus spent three days and nights in the ground as the ultimate act of atonement, and once and for all made possible a new way of life. This is the miraculous part: like Jonah, He wants to use us to help bring that life! Yet, two things stand in the way. One, some of you think you are destined for destruction because of your own terrible decisions and evil. Two, some of you might be religious, born and raised in the church, yet you are not living the mission. Despite everything, you can get up, repent, and live out the mission today!

Pray for 10 minutes