Summary: While the benefits of the "Greatest Story Ever Told" belongs exclusively to Christians, we must not keep them to ourselves! We, like Jonah, must deliever the message of Truth and Repentance from our heavenly Father.
Each time you make the conscience decision to truly enter into praise and worship, the Lord will welcome you into the Holy of Holies. Where healing is common, relationships are restored, and new boldness and strength is supplied to weary believers.
Each day brings with it the opportunity to learn something new!
An Illustration: I remember being a young pastor, sitting with some ministers many years my senior. I sat quietly listening and learning. One of them asked me what I thought the five stones, in the story of David and Goliath represented. Without hesitation I said that David was no only going to kill Goliath but his four brothers also if they got in the way. This pastor, who had probably forgotten more than I will ever know, look and me and said, “I have never thought about that.” Well to this day I’m not sure I was right, but the lesson to me was this, everyday time you pick up the Bible with a heart to learn something new, you will.
Well, with a build up like this surely Jonah was ready to take on any task the Lord had for him, right? No …
2.The Message Rejected
I believe the scenario went something like this:
Use a skit to the theme of Mission Impossible with Jonah smashing the message device instead of accepting the Mission.
Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."
23"But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. NIV
Go to Nineveh and cry out against it – go there with the Godly purpose of rebuking them for their sin and call them to repentance. The city of Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and was a large and prominent city in its day. It was not a city of Israel at all; God called Jonah to go to a dangerously pagan, Gentile city and call them to repentance.
i. Ancient historians say that Nineveh was the largest city in the world at that time. It was the large important capital of a dominating empire – without a doubt an intimidating place to go.
For their wickedness has come up before Me: Why did God want Jonah to go? God was watching their wicked behavior. None of man’s wickedness is hidden before God - He sees it all, and it will come to a point where sin demands the specific warning and judgment of God.
If you are presently sinning against the Lord, there is a season of time in which it appears you might get away with it. However, that season of time, allowed by God, is your opportunity to repent. Should you ignore this time of grace, rest assured and be warned this day, your sin will be exposed.
A drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife. When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night weren’t you!" "No, honey." "Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?"