God Is Patient
"And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." (Jonah 3:1-2)
When God told Jonah to go and preach in Nineveh, Jonah ran away. The Bible says that Jonah fled to the harbor and found a ship heading in the opposite direction of Nineveh. There was no way he was going to preach the Word of the Lord to the people of Nineveh.
The Ninevites were cruel people who tortured their enemies. Jonah wanted God to destroy the Ninevites. He knew that if he preached God's Word, the Ninevites would probably repent from their wicked ways. So Jonah said "no" to God and ran the other way.
But God did not give up on Jonah. While Jonah was aboard the ship, God sent a raging storm. The sailors threw Jonah overboard because they thought he had caused the terrible storm. But God sent a big fish that swallowed Jonah whole. God heard Jonah's prayer in the belly of the fish, and the fish spit Jonah up on dry land. Then the Word of the Lord came to Jonah again and told him to go to Nineveh and preach.
When Jonah said "no" the first time, God could have said, "Forget you, Jonah! I'll just find someone else!" God can do anything He wants to do, and He could have found another prophet to preach to Nineveh. But God wanted Jonah to go. So God patiently waited on Jonah. He sent a raging storm to get Jonah's attention, but Jonah did not repent. Instead of repenting, Jonah decided it would be better to die in the sea.
But God still wanted Jonah, so He sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Finally, Jonah cried out to God, who sent him back to Nineveh to preach to the people. God wanted Jonah to learn a lesson. God wanted Jonah to obey Him, and He patiently waited for Jonah to obey.
God is patient. He wants you to follow Him and obey Him. When you say "no" to God, He doesn't always punish you right away. He waits for you to obey. He is "a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Jonah 4:2). Sometimes He might have to send a hard time to get your attention, as he sent a storm to Jonah. But He wants you to become more like Him, and He patiently waits for you to do so.
God is patiently waiting for you to follow Him.
» What does God want me to do today?
» Am I following the commands He has given in His Word?
» Am I saying "no" to God?
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