Disobedient Prophet

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Jonah

The Lord says to Jonah, “Go to Nineveh.” How often in the Bible we hear God saying to someone, “Go.” We are inclined to sit back comfortably in the status quo, but the Lord says to us, “Go, I have something for you to do; be up and doing it.”

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a cruel nation that was a great threat to Jonah’s nation. Jonah was patriotic. He knew if the Assyrians continued in their sins they would fall, but if he preached to them and they repented, God would spare them and they would remain a threat to Jonah’s country. So he disobeyed.

Some people have a problem with Jonah being swallowed by a sea creature (a whale or a fish or a specially created monster) and then being spit out again. But for the sovereign God, who with one word of his power created the whole universe out of nothing, this was a little miracle. The purpose of the book is not to tell us that God could do this; we should know that. The purpose is to show us that God wants us to change some of our narrow ideas. Too often, we are only interested in our own little circle, like the man who prayed, “Lord, bless me, my wife, my two sons, us four and no more.” But God is interested in the lost people of Nineveh, and of the whole world. He does not want us to be like Jonah; he wants us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.


Father, stretch our circle of concern to be as wide as yours and to do something about it. In Jesus' name. Amen