“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.”
If you’re an athlete or coach there is a good chance you’ve competed against a rival team in your league, region or conference. Bad blood may have reared it’s ugly head through the years. Both teams dislike each other and are out to pound each other into misery. There is just something about that particular team and coach that you don’t like or respect. Now, imagine if someone asked you to serve and help this team. Your fleshly response would be, “No way!!”
Well in a similar way, Jonah had the same problem. Actually, he was a racist rebel prophet. He could not stand the Gentile people of Nineveh. He disliked them. He felt they were not worthy of proclaiming the message of forgiveness and redemption. He felt he was better and more superior than them.
Like a hated rival team, Jonah detested the Ninevite people . He wanted them to serve great judgement for their ways. Frankly, he wanted to see God punish and destroy them, not rescue, forgive and redeem them.
To top things off, the very place and people he could not stand was the very place God was sending him to share the message of warning & forgiveness from God. Can you imagine?
Before you pass judgement on Jonah, remember, we can have the very same attitude as Jonah if we’re not careful. I remind all of us: never say never!
God is God, and He will use you to impact those places, people and things that you despise or detest the most. We can try to run, hide and get away, however God is already there and He will have His way and use whatever means He chooses to do the work He’s called us to do.
Don’t be like Jonah. Don’t run away from God, just simply obey Him. Do what He asks so that He doesn’t have to use a “great fish” to vomit you up where He wants you to go.
Be Worth Being!
Kevin Burrell has worked in professional baseball as both a player and MLB scout for the past 38 years, and currently serves on staff with the Chicago White Sox as an area scouting supervisor. Kevin was drafted in the 1st round of the 1981 free agent amateur draft (25th selection overall) by the Boston Red Sox, and played ten years of professional baseball with four different organizations. He and his wife, Valerie, live in Sharpsburg, Ga. with their two children.
Imagine that you could sit down and pick the brains of some of the top leaders in the country! That’s the premise behind the Linch with a Leader podcast. Learn how these leaders – all among the best in their respective field – have risen to the top, while continuing to grow spiritually and chase after the Lord.