As I read Jonah’s account of being thrown in to the sea, it’s very dramatic. Hurled into the water. Waves sweeping over. Dragged by the currents. And a little seaweed wrapped around his head. 🙂
Then sinking to the bottom thinking that it was all over, and at the last minute crying out to God for help. “I’ll do anything! Just help me!”
And all of a sudden a big fish comes swooping in, swallowing Jonah whole.
And as he’s being taken off on the first submarine ride ever, Jonah reflects,
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (verse 8)
Who was he thinking of as he said that? Was he thinking of his own people? Was he thinking of the people of Nineveh? Probably. But he could’ve easily applied it to himself. No, he wasn’t following Baal or the golden calves that Jeroboam set up. But he had set up the idol of “me” in his life. And when God told him to go to Nineveh, he followed the god of ‘me’ instead.
And as long as he did that, he forfeited on God’s blessing in his life. God wanted to do great things in Jonah’s life. And had Jonah just been open to God’s work in his life, he could’ve gained great blessing in doing God’s work, reaching out to the Ninevites. But instead, he hardened his heart, not only to the Ninevites, but to God.
Even when he went to Nineveh and preached, he did it reluctantly. And until he repented from that attitude, he lost out on the blessing that should have been his.
How about you? Are you following the god of “me.” Are you putting yourself and your desires at the center of your lives. Remember Jonah’s words. “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Let go of the idol of “me.” And let’s put God on the throne of our lives. And as we do that, we will find blessing.