Maybe you’ve heard the story about Jonah. It’s funny that the first thing most people think of when they hear “Jonah” is a whale. I believe it’s a story of a fickle guy named Jonah and our gracious, relentless, loving God.

Here’s a “birds eye” view of the account. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach judgement against the city because of their wickedness. Rather than obey God Jonah decides he can outsmart and outrun God. If you think you can do the same, I urge you to open a bible and read through the book of Jonah (only four chapters). Jonah attempted to go the opposite way that God wanted him to go by going to the port city of Joppa and pay for a ticket to Tarsus rather than Nineveh.

God sent a storm to get Jonah’s attention with no more effort than us stirring cream into our coffee. He realizes after speaking with the panicked crew on board that God is getting his attention. Interestingly Jonah decides the only way to get out of this storm is to jump into the ocean. As he begins to sink below the surface of the water God sends a great fish, just as He had sent the storm. Rather than experience death Jonah experiences God’s grace. The fish swallows Jonah and houses him for three days and nights.

It’s in the belly of the great fish that Jonah repents for his disobedience towards God by running from Him and his mission. God is satisfied that Jonah is truly repentant so He sent the great fish toward the shore of Nineveh where it can spit Jonah onto the beach.

Jonah preaches judgment against the city and surprisingly everyone repents of their sin and rather than Jonah being joyful he’s upset. Upset with the people for their repentance and upset with God for sending him there to begin with because he knew the people would repent causing God to withhold His judgement against them.

So, Jonah goes outside the city to sulk in the sun but God causes a large plant to grow where it’s leaves cause a nice covering of shade for him. But then God sends a worm to eat on the plant causing it to wither, taking away Jonah’s shade. This causes him to be so upset that he tells God he wishes he (Jonah) was dead and the story ends with us feeling God forgot to write the rest of the story. Maybe he left it the way he did to cause us to think through how alike we can be to Jonah.

Here are some simple “take ways” for me. One, when God asks us to do something we should feel honored and simply obey him. Two, don’t let our prejudices stop us from obeying God (Jonah did not like the Ninevites). Three, we can’t out smart or out run God – He knows all and is all-powerful. He sent Jonah on a mission, He sent the storm, He sent the “great fish,” and He sent the worm. Four, we can think everything is about “me.” God was thinking about Jonah and He was thinking about everyone in Nineveh. He did not want to bring judgement to them, He wanted to give them mercy and grace.

We at Newby Management feel that God has His hand on this company and has called us to lovingly provide the best management services around in the name of Jesus Christ. We value all persons as we seek to serve every owner, resident, and employee. We believe obedience to God’s call on us as a company and as individuals is an honor we seek to fulfill.

Corporate Chaplain
Mike Bynum

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