Wisdom from within the whale
Week beginning: 3rd February, 2019 | By Ben Fullbrook | London
"Those who cling to worthless idolsJonah 2:8-9 (NIV)
turn away from God's love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, 'Salvation comes from the LORD.'"
As a lawyer, it's all too easy to think that everything depends on you. Do a good job, find a clever argument, make an eloquent speech and your client will win. Make a mistake and your client may lose.
It's tempting to think that it was this very same attitude that led Jonah to flee from God and end up in the belly of a fish, from where he made this cry. Indeed, I am too often put off sharing the gospel with friends and colleagues because I do not think I have what it takes to persuade them. I forget that salvation comes from the Lord.
However, this was not actually Jonah's problem. In 4:2 he explains that he disobeyed God's instruction to preach in Nineveh because he knew that God is "gracious and compassionate" and "relents from sending calamity". In other words, Jonah knew that God could save the Ninevites but didn't think that those who clung to worthless idols deserved His grace.
Are there people in your life with whom you have not shared the life-giving news of Jesus Christ because you do not think that they are worthy of God's love?
1. Thank God that salvation comes from Him, not from flawed human beings like ourselves.
2. Praise God that he can save anyone he pleases, no matter how indifferent or even hostile they seem.
3. Ask God for opportunities to share the gospel this week.