Brokenness: The Protest
Verse: Jonah 1
The children’s story about Jonah and the big fish presents the prophet in a rather rosy light: After three days in the fish’s belly, he relents and goes merrily on to Nineveh. End of story. The narrative in the Bible has the same components (storm, big fish, repentant Ninevites) but the context is totally different. From the moment Jonah chose to flee from God’s plan until the end of the book, his heart was rebelling against God.
The inhabitants of Nineveh were Assyrians, a people known for their aggression and cruelty to others. Since they were the sworn enemies of Israel, Jonah had good reason to despise them. But God loved the Ninevites and desired their repentance. The task of ministering to them carried an additional purpose: breaking Jonah’s unloving spirit—an attitude so strong that he preferred to die rather than see the enemy saved (Jonah 4:3).
God longed to mold the prophet’s character to reflect His own—He wanted a willing, loving servant. But Jonah resisted at each and every turn. Pride and hatred drove him ever deeper into rebellion and away from the Lord. The Lord wasn’t fooled; He knew Jonah’s heart remained hard, even after the people repented. While the Ninevites rejoiced over deliverance, their minister stewed in his bitterness. Emotional and mental anguish were high prices to pay for resistance.
What keeps you from serving the Lord fully? You likely know the area of your life that He is trying to break. Though the process may be painful, it’s done for your good and His glory. Give in to Him.