July 13 – Jonah 1
We’re on a tour of the minor prophets for the rest of the summer: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. You can join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Whereas the other minor prophets we’ve been reading have prophesied to God’s people in Israel, God sent the prophet Jonah to deliver His message to a pagan nation. The message in Jonah is repentance, forgiveness, and salvation for all.
Jonah Flees From the Lord
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Running From God | Kathy Page
God had been offended by the wickedness of the great Assyrian city, Nineveh. God is Just and He could not stand the sight of sin that had come up before Him. God had given Jonah a clear directive: “Go to Nineveh and preach against it”. This would be a mission of mercy, God’s mercy. When God’s call came to Jonah, he could not see beyond his own selfish desire for God to punish the Assyrians. How could God want him to take a message of mercy to these ungodly people? He decided to forsake his mission and run from God. Before Jonah could relay God’s message, he had to be broken. He had to learn something of the mercy of the Lord.
Jonah knew that God had a specific plan for him, but he didn’t want to do it. Tarshish was a western port; Jonah decides to run away from God in the opposite direction, east to get as far away from God as possible. How many times do you and I know exactly what God wants us to do and then stubbornly go in the opposite direction? What happens when we run from God? His response is likely to be sending us a storm, just as He did Jonah. It is impossible to outpace God’s pursuing affection. He’s been called, “the Hound of Heaven.” God’s mercy is massive. The storm tells us that God spares no expense in going after those who run away. The storm is NOT punishment; it is an intervention brought about by God’s unending mercy rather than His anger.
Jonah thought that running away from God would make him free. Instead, it made him a slave. We can experience true life and freedom only when we submit to God. It comes when we start trusting in God’s abilities and wisdom instead of our own. Real life begins when we transfer our trust from our own efforts to the efforts of God. So, no more running; unless it is TO Him!!
Father, forgive my rebellious spirit. Teach me, by Your Holy Spirit, to be submissive, to embrace the call You have for my life and not run from it. Help me to be Your light in this world. Let Jesus always shine through me. Thank You for Your great love and tender mercy toward me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.