I figured since Jonah was mentioned in the last passage we saw (II Kings 14:25), it would be a good time to throw in Jonah’s own story.
This is probably one of the more famous stories in the Bible. And it’s interesting to see the time period it was happening in. In a time when you’d think that God would call Jonah to preach to his own people (under King Jeroboam) to repent, God called him to preach to Israel’s enemies in Ninevah.
I don’t think Jonah had any problem prophesying about God’s deliverance of Israel through Jeroboam (although he may have wondered why God would use Jeroboam).
But it bothered him greatly that God would so care about Israel’s enemies, that he would send Jonah down to warn them to turn from their sin.
And so Jonah ran away.
This story is very ironic in that God wanted Jonah to make a difference. And in rebelling against God’s will, he did make a difference. He caused the people he was sailing with to get caught in a storm along with him as God was trying to get his attention.
The point is our choices affect other people. They can affect people for the good, or for the bad. If we’re following God and doing his will, we can do great good in the world around us. But when we disobey God and run from him, our choices will negatively affect the people around us. They’ll affect our family, our friends, our neighbors, and every person that we care about. And instead of turning them towards God, we can turn them away from him.
In spite of Jonah’s sin, God was able to use Jonah’s actions for His glory. When the sailors threw Jonah overboard, and saw that the storm immediately calmed down, they feared God, and started to seek after him.
But what about us? What kind of influence are we having on the people around us? Is it for the good or for the bad?
May we choose every day to follow after God. And as we do, that’s when we’ll see change in the world around us.