ANOTHER JONAH IN THE CHURCH
Memorise: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
Read: Ezekiel 33:1-6 (King James Version)
33:1 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
Bible in One Year: Numbers 16-17, Jeremiah 19:10-20:6, Hymn: Sing hymn 13
We are often quick to judge Biblical characters when they do not measure up to God’s expectation in one area or the other. We should however not allow our judgemental opinions to becloud our minds from the salient lessons God is trying to pass across to us through the failings of these characters. To drive home this point, the Holy Spirit in 1st Corinthians 10:11 says,“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Among such characters are father Abraham and Isaac, who both misrepresented their wife as their sister. We also have prophets like Elijah, who opted to die in the face of adversity, and Jonah, the prophet who chose to run away from God’s assignment. In the New Testament, we have apostles like Thomas, who said he would not believe in Christ’s resurrection unless he saw and touched the palms of His hands . The shortcomings of these characters exposes their humility to us, and it also serves as a challenge to us that if characters with such shortcomings can go on to do great things for God, so can we in spite of our inadequacies.
Let’s take a closer look at Prophet Jonah, and compare his attitude to that of believers in the Church today. In Jonah 1, we read of how the word of the Lord came to him, instructing him to go and warn the people of Nineveh against the impending doom hanging over their heads because of their wickedness. Instead of carrying out God’s assignment, Jonah chose to flee to Tarshish, because he wanted the people of Nineveh to receive God’s judgement.
He knew if these people heard the warning and repented, God would not punish them as He had earlier planned. However, Jonah wanted them to receive God’s punishment because of all they had done to the children of Israel. In like manner, our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to go and preach the gospel of salvation to sinners. Following the principles set out in our Bible reading, if we do not obey the Lord’s commandment, God forbid that their blood be required of us. We must beware of Jonah’s mistake so that none of us becomes another Jonah in the Church.
Jonah landed in the belly of a fish before he understood the foolishness of trying to run away from God. Are you being called into the ministry of soul-winning? Stop running from your responsibility! Let us take the assignment of soul-winning seriously, and we will not miss our reward. Proverbs 11:30 says,“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
Prayer Point : Father, help me to win souls for You on a daily basis.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.