Summary: The campaign to reach the city of Ninevah was nothing less than the work of God since Jonah obviously had no heart for these people.
Jonah makes a comeback Jonah 3
A man went to his doctor and said, "I don’t know what to do about my wife. She’s deaf as a doornail and she won’t do anything about it." The doctor said, "I’ll tell you what to do. When you go home tonight peek your head in the door and say, "Honey, what’s for dinner?" If she doesn’t answer go into the living room and say, "Honey, what’s for dinner?" If she still doesn’t answer, walk into the kitchen and ask, "Honey, what’s for dinner?" Then you’ll be able to convince her that she has a hearing problem.
That evening he did just as the doctor instructed him. He walked in the front door and said, "Honey what’s for dinner?" He listened but didn’t get an answer. He walked into the living room and said, "Honey what’s for dinner?" Still he didn’t get an answer. He stepped into the kitchen and asked, "Honey, what’s for dinner?" Still nothing. Then he walked right up behind his wife and said, "Honey, what’s for dinner?" And she replied, "For the fourth time, we’re having spagetti."
Whenever there is a problem in a relationship it helps to know which person has the problem. In Jonah’s situation the problem was obvious. He had rebelled against the will of God and he suffered the consequences. He had to learn that when it comes to the will of God there is no such thing as flexibilty.
Some guy wrote a book a few years ago and in it he claimed that there is such thing as the permissive will of God and then there’s the perfect will of God. Its like saying, on one hand we have the good things of life while on the other there are the best things. And taking the good instead of the best isn’t wrong because we don’t displease the Lord by doing this we just rob ourselves of the blessing that goes with having the best rather than that which is merely good. That may sound good but as the Lord’s Prayer says, we are to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven. How is God’s will done in heaven? Its done immediately and without question. Its a matter of obedience. This was the lesson that Jonah had to learn. God was to be obeyed regardless of how he felt about the things he was told to do.
The last verse of chapter 2 simply says the fish vomited Jonah on dry land. Its a rather gross description of what happened but we almost get the sense that Jonah’s presence made the fish sick. For those of you who like alliterated outlines we could say Jonah was rebellious, then he repented and now he was regurgitated. So, here he is on dry land and now he’s ready to be used by God in the sense that he’s willing to do whatever he was told to do.
Jonah certainly doesn’t seem to fit the stereotype of what we expect a prophet to be. I mean, we know from what happens after he preaches that although he does what God sent him to do he’s still not a very happy camper. The problem we have with Jonah isn’t with who the prophet is but its with our concept of how he should act. I think we tend to see the prophets of the Old Testament as extremely holy people who did nothing but sit around waiting for orders from God. The fact is the prophets were people like ourselves who at times were called by God to do things they disagreed with or things they found distasteful. Obedience to the will of God doesn’t always mean joyful compliance. There are times when we each of us has to pray as the Lord Jesus did and say, "Not my will, but thine be done." As I studied and searched the scriptures I found five charactaristics of a true prophet or a messenger from God.
I Five charactaristics of a true prophet.
a) A true prophet is an ordinary man. God doesn’t look for superstars to do His work. If anything as Paul says He uses the simple to confound the wise. After all, if all God’s prophets were the best and the brightest people that could be found on the planet it would be easy for everyone to come to the conclusion that anything that was accomplished as a result of their ministry was the result of their personality and their hard work rather than the Spirit of God working through them.
Think about some of the people God used in the scripture. Someone wrote a book about Moses and called it, "Here am I, send Aaron." Moses was insecure about his ability to speak in public. His conversation with God is really rather humorous from the standpoint that he is telling God that he can’t do the very thing God created him to do.