A monkey happened to see fish keep jumping over water, as she was passing by a river. She thought that those fish were desperately trying to coming out the water for survival. So,the monkey quickly dived into the river and threw those fish into sandy beach in order to rescue them. The monkey came out of the water and was exhausted. She found that all of the fish were dead. Then the monkey thought like this— “If I rescued them a little bit earlier, I could save them!” The lesson of this fable is this. It’s good to working hard, but we must first think whether we’re doing the things that pleases God or not.
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:1-2). There is a word we need to pay attention. It is the verb, “Go.” In order to fulfill God’s calling, we must decide to get out of complacency and go to the place where God is sending us. ‘A place of complacency’ can be our stereotypes or prejudice. We must get rid of these. But when the word of the Lord came to Jonah, he disobeyed God because he was not able to get rid of his prejudice regarding Assyria. They were the enemy who attacked the Northern Israel and made it their colony. So Jonah did not want to do thiskind of task. Those who are called must obey God’s command instead of following their own thought. Although Jonah was a prophet called by God, he tried to go to Tarshish against God’s will.
According to the testimony of revivalists, many people experienced life’s difficulties after disobeying God. God led Jonah into the valley of shadow of death when Jonah was trying to escape from his presence by disobeying his command. The Lord stopped him. “But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the Lord flung a terrific wind over the sea, causing a great storm that threatened to send them to the bottom” (Jonah 1:4). Only then, Jonah realized that he was experiencing all these troubles because he was running away from God. He said like this, “Throw me out into the sea,” he said, “and it will become calm again. For I know this terrible storm has come because of me” (Jonah 1:12).
When Jonah realized the cause of a great storm, he should have repented of his sin and have gone to Nineveh. But he chose not to change his mind, even in that situation, and asked the sailors to throw him into the ocean. Jonah rather wanted to die instead of preaching the word of God to save his enemies who lived in Nineveh. Although he was a prophet called by God, he disobeyed God because he failed to control his emotional wound—the wound he had because of the Assyrian. The death Jonah experienced inside of a big fish belly for three days was not a romantic experience. Jonah thought that everything would be over he just died. Jonah finally experienced the result of escaping God’s presence. It was an experience of hell.
God allowed Jonah to experience the consequence of his willful sin. Although Jonah knew God’s will, he still chose to disobey God’s command. The life of a person who abandon God’s word does not just disappear like electricity we can turn off through a light switch. It is a beginning of endless fear.Jonah repented of his sin only after he had experienced the reality of death with his whole body and mind. “Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have rejected me and cast me away. How shall I ever again see your holy Temple?’ (Jonah 2:4). After this incident, Jonah changed his mind and went to Nineveh according to God’s pleasing will. He saved the Ninevites by proclaiming the message of judgment.