Jonah was a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of Israel. The Lord called Jonah to preach against the evils of those living in the Assyrian city of Nineveh. Instead of obeying the Lord’s command, Jonah fled from the Lord’s presence to Joppa and got on a ship headed to Tarshish. The Lord causes a storm to prevent the journey, and the sailors eventually throw Jonah overboard to appease the Lord. Jonah is swallowed by a fish. During this time of 3 days and nights in the fish, he cries out to the Lord, and the Lord answers his prayer.
In the opening chapters of Jonah, the pagan sailors prove to be more righteous than Jonah. They do everything possible to save his life, until there are no other options. Even still, they beg the Lord’s mercy for their act of throwing Jonah overboard. In the end, this causes the men to worship the Lord. An act that didn’t come from Jonah preaching, but through the Lord showing his power. This was an indictment on Jonah. Pagans were more righteous and obedient to God than Jonah. That is something that should never be said of a follower of God.
Have you ever tried to run from the Lord’s command?