The Wrong Road
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
WHAT IS the use of running if you're on the wrong road? And what do you say to someone walking on the path that has no end?
Paul was on the wrong road when he went after believers—and Jesus met with him and saved him. (Acts 9:1-22)
ONE DAY, God spoke to Jonah.
"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." (Jonah 1:2)
He was in his comfort zone when God called him to go to Nineveh—a city of seventy thousand people.
Nineveh's inhabitants were Assyrians—they were vicious, cruel and arrogant people—well known for their brutality.
They were not only the enemies of Israel; they were also the enemies of God.
GOD KNEW the state of their hearts. He wanted them to change their ways—and He is not willing that anyone should perish but that all will come to repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)
Jonah walked in rebellion and rose to flee.
To run far away, he went the opposite direction.
He felt that Nineveh's people had done bad things to them, and they deserved no mercy. But God thought otherwise.
They were the enemies of Israel, and they deserved punishment. But God gave them the chance to repent.
Jonah showed prejudice against the Gentiles.
When we look at our lives, we find that we sometimes walk in rebellion like Jonah—and have motives that we would not say.
JONAH KNEW that God wasn't racially inclined—He is God to the Jews and Gentiles.
God is the creator of all things, and he's always present with his creature.
You cannot hide from His Presence, and all you do is in His watchfulness.
David put it this way—where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (Psalm 139:7-8)
He knew that the people of Nineveh would change, and God will change His mind.
Jonah got on a boat and went west to Tarshish as far as he could go, an infinite distance from God.
IF YOU have a renegade daughter or son living under your roof, you will know how painful it can be?
God was displeased with him. He threw an intense wind at sea, and the storm put Jonah's ship in jeopardy of breaking into two.
The sailors were worried, and to lighten their ship, they threw their cargo into the sea. (Jonah 1:5)
Every man cried out to their gods—but one of them found Jonah sound asleep on the lower deck of the ship.
Someone said, "The sweet silence of sleep cannot hush the voice of God."
THEY WOKE him up.
We have called on our god, and it's not working. Call on your God, perhaps it will work.
Who are you, and what's your occupation? We must know who is responsible for this disaster.
I am a Hebrew, and the God that I worship is eternal. He made the sea and the land, and He controls them.
When they cast their lot, it fell on him.
When he told them that he was running from God, they were much frightened, and they asked what they should do to him?
They were about to be thrown under. Then, Jonah said, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea." (Jonah 1:12)
He did not jump in.
He told them that he was responsible for everything. He knew by death all would end.
And when they threw him in, the sea was quiet. There was a calm peace.
JONAH WANTED a watery grave, but God came in His grace. He wasn't done with Jonah yet.
He commanded a big fish to swallow him. Jonah discovered that God's decision is final.
The fish took him to the shores of Nineveh. While in its belly, Jonah asked God for forgiveness.
Jonah preached to them, and they repented.
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
JONAH's STORY is one that takes a lifetime to pull off—a man who chose to walk on the wrong road—and like him, we have not loved the nations, as God has loved us.
His life is an opportunity for us to do a self-analysis—in which we judge ourselves so that we will not be judged.
And if we do not glorify Him for His mercy, we will do so through His judgment.