Jonah 3 / Psalm 3
By Sonya Polino
Holy Spirit, give us ears to hear You, eyes to see You, and hearts to respond to You. We love and trust You.
I find it only fitting to proclaim before we begin that “Salvation comes from the Lord!” This is where we left off yesterday at the end of chapter 2. And today you and I, specifically to US, the Lord has chosen to remind again in our Psalm 3 reading, vs 9 “Salvation belongs to the Lord…”! Hallelujah! May we whole heartedly cleave to this truth!
Stepping back into Jonah’s journey … What a powerful prayer from Jonah yesterday, his rebellion dispelled by truth!
Hebrews 5:8, “…He (Jesus) learned obedience through what He suffered.” Jonah learned obedience through his sufferings. I wish I could say that he learned humility along with his obedience. But as we will continue to read in Chapter 4, the humility is still yet to be learned. But praise God that all of our journeys are learned, layer by layer. At this juncture of our story, Jonah has been brought to the point of learning obedience … After attempting to commit suicide at the hand of the sailors, God’s providence protected Jonah by placing him in the deepest pit, in the darkest place and cocooned there for 3 days, only to be vomited out. Through these depths of darkness, despair, just plain disgusting situation – God lovingly protects, provides and guides! For Jonah and for us! Hallelujah!
So when the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, “Get up! Go …”, So “Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command.” Let’s resist the temptation to over simplify, to characterize and see Jonah in the light of “fleeing from the Lord’s presence” or rebellious or disobedient. Let’s step into this picture ourselves. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we would respond any other way. I would most assuredly guess that Holy Spirit is bringing to your mind even now, as He already is to mine, of all the ways that I have rebelled and fled from His clearest directions. He is reminding me of all the gentle and loving ways, that He has pursued me and redirected me back onto the path of obedience. What part of this story are you currently sitting in? I can see where I am in this story … still awaiting that act of obedience.
Holy Spirit is reminding me the beauty of how His message does not change! “Get up! Go … “ What He told me to do 6 months ago, that I am still struggling to do today, is the very same command. His command to Jonah did not change. Jonah only had to be told twice, I wish I could say the same! How many times has Holy Spirit commanded you in a specific area of obedience? I have lost track myself, and I am still struggling to receive the grace to fully walk in that command. Jonah displayed such radical obedience … Lord, may the radical obedience of Jonah be displayed in my heart.
And when we step into that obedience, Yahweh promises in Matthew 11:28-30 “Learn from me … My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” We learn from His example of obedience, and step into carrying His yoke and burden. Not from the complications and burdens that the world gives, but we take up His yoke and burden, light and easy.
Jonah, stepping into his act of obedience … Nineveh was so large it would take 3 days to walk it. But we are told that ON THE FIRST DAY, on the first day that he preached the message GOD GAVE HIM, the men believed! All Jonah was, the vessel. All he did was walk and give the words that God gave Him. He was not responsible for creating, nor understanding, or really even articulating the content of the message – all Jonah was responsible for was giving voice to the message that God gave him. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Nor was Jonah responsible for the response to the message. Jonah did not see the full impact of the message, as it was carried from person to person and ultimately up to the King who delivered an executive declaration. Jonah was only responsible to give voice to the message that God gave him. Yahweh’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Let’s not loose sight of the fact that in order to be this vessel, Jonah could not be looking down to the future, to the response and outcome. Nineveh were incredibly evil people, violent people that had terrorized the surrounding peoples for many years. Had Jonah contemplated, thought about, ruminated, played out the ramifications of his obedience, he would have most assuredly come to an impasse. Stalemated and unable to walk out his obedience. Jonah hated these people and truly believed that they deserved all the fire and sulfur from Hell that they had coming their way. But Jonah so steadfastly stepped into his obedience. Jonah learned obedience from his suffering. He was going to be obedient, radically obedient. I remind you that he was not walking humbly as we will see in Chapter 4, but he was walking obediently. Layer by Layer as our journeys go.
What radical obedience is Yahweh commanding from you? Are you looking at the future, down the road and playing out all the responses, ramifications, and potential outcomes. Are you letting that be a stumbling block to your act of obedience to the Lord’s command?
I challenge you, just as I am challenging myself today, meditate SELAH on these things. Invite Holy Spirit to allow the example of Jonah and the following passages to sink deep into us. And then may our hearts give a resounding “Yes Lord” to the God of our salvation:
Psalm 3, “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head … Cry aloud to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain. SELAH … I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me … Rise up, Lord! Save me, my God! … Salvation belongs to the Lord; May Your blessing be on Your people. SELAH
Holy Spirit, we need You today. Lord, teach us to walk in your grace for the day. Teach us, Lord, to walk in you today. We love You and we trust You. In Jesus’ beautiful name, Amen