“I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” (Jonah 1:12)
Jonah was a prophet. His job was to pass on God’s words to the people. One day, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to deliver His message. But Nineveh was the capital of the enemy! Jonah absolutely didn’t want to warn these people of the judgment that awaited them. He knew that the Lord was merciful, and he did not want his enemies to receive mercy. He did not want these people to repent, but to suffer God’s punishment.
To escape his task, Jonah boarded a ship in the opposite direction. But he could not stop God from fulfilling His plans. The Lord sent a huge storm. When Jonah confessed to the sailors that he was fleeing from God and admitted that this storm was his fault, he was thrown overboard. Immediately the storm was over! But even for this disobedient prophet there was grace. The Lord sent a large fish that swallowed Jonah and later spat him out on the beach at Nineveh. From there, Jonah could begin his task….
This story teaches us two things. Firstly, we can’t sabotage God’s plans. Secondly, He is merciful to everyone who flees to Him, even if they are in trouble by their own fault!