I’ve been reading in the book of Jonah this week. I’m writing a devotional about the people in the Bible and how we can relate to them (Bible Besties – check it out), anyway Jonah really spoke to me. He’s like that friend we shouldn’t hang out with, but we do anyway. Here are three lessons from the life of Jonah that hit home for me this week.
3 Lessons from the Life of Jonah
1) You Can’t Out-Run God
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.Jonah 1:17
First and foremost, it didn’t matter that Jonah did the exact opposite of what God wanted for him, God sought him out anyway.
It was such a poignant reminder that we can’t out-run God. Wherever we go, God is there. God can meet us in places we think He would never dare go. Whether that’s the bathroom or a bar. God is omnipresent – always there and unavoidable.
2) God is Merciful
And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.Jonah 2:10
The next lesson from the life of Jonah that stuck out to me was how merciful God is. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t living the way He has called us to live, He loves us anyway. As soon as we’re ready to turn back to Him, He is ready to forgive.
3) No One is Beyond God’s Grace
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.Jonah 3:10
Jonah was sent to Nineveh because they were living crazy sinful lives. Jonah knew that. He didn’t even want to go there because the city was full of rampant, unrepentant sin. I don’t know if you’ve ever been somewhere you just knew you didn’t belong, but I have. It’s not that I wanted to judge the people I was with, but it was a place that didn’t exemplify God’s grace. It was hard for me to be there, even though I knew that’s where God was calling me to be.
That’s probably how Jonah felt, and I can relate to that. Maybe you can, too?
But here’s the thing, while we don’t want to go to those places, God is already there. Even when His love isn’t on display, He’s there. And He’s willing to forgive anyone who is willing to turn to Him. No matter how they have been living, or for how long, all He cares about is the state of their hearts. No matter what the state of their sin. God is merciful.
Join the Conversation
When was the last time you read the book of Jonah? Do you have any lessons you’ve learned from the life of Jonah or any insights to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.