Jonah 1-4, "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice"
Chapter 2:1, "Then Jonah prayed to the Lord His God from the fish’s belly. And he said:, "I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice". Amen, out of the belly of the fish cried I to the Lord. Out of the mess I got myself into cried I unto the Lord and He heard me and answered me. God had every right to reject Jonah’s prayers but His love is an everlasting love and if we call on Him, He will answer us.
Being in the belly of the fish reminded him that God was always there with him and that is why he could call and be heard. That was a place of humility where he would say, "Lord is not about me but about you", when you call me, I will answer; where you lead me I will follow; where you send me I will go; when you need me, I will be available and when you find me, I will be doing something for You. Read it for yourself and you will see how he was vomited and he takes the assignment with dignity and humility.
So why Jonah decide to run from the presence of God? Being that Nineveh was a wicked city, God had passed a judgment that the city would be destroyed in 40 days. Jonah’s mission was to come and preach this message to a people who had mistreated his people. He was to preach judgment to his enemies and expect them to be destroyed but he knew better. He knew that if he preached, they would repent and God would grant them mercy, he didn’t want God to grant them mercy.
When he was in his own mess that required God’s judgment, God granted him mercy instead of judgment. Mercy rejoices over judgment. The Ninevites needed to hear the truth and be converted and a man who understood God’s mercy was the man to bring the message. I believe with all my heart that we will never desire and have a passion to preach to the Ninevites (lost souls) until we have understood what we’ve been saved from, how we deserved the wrath of God because of our sin and yet in the midst of our rebellion, He showed us mercy, saved us and granted us everlasting life..
Do we have to hit rock bottom to cry out to God? Do we call on Him when things are bearable? do we desire to see the lost come to a place of grace, mercy and pardon just as we did receive it, or would we careless as long as we are saved and going to heaven. HE HAS CALLED ME, I NEED TO ANSWER TO THE CALL.
What is our calling? We are not called to be preachers, missionaries, pastors, prayer warriors and the like, we are called to be FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, picking up our cross and following Him daily, dying to self, being crucified with Christ. The calling in our lives is to be obedient to God, to give Him the worship He deserves, to honor Him, to live a holy and righteous life. Being a pastor, preacher, missionary is a response to the call of obedience, it’s a demonstration of our service to Him. Blessings, Ev