Jonah’s Surrendered Obedience
God rescued and redeemed Jonah. After three days and nights in complete darkness, Jonah sat on a beach and blinked in the bright sunshine, trying to get his bearings. In surrendered worship, he promised, “What I have vowed, I will make good, (Jonah 2:9)” Now it was time for surrendered obedience.
No more running or hiding. Jonah would do whatever God asked of him.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you. (Jonah 3:1)”
The same assignment Jonah tried so desperately to avoid. This time, in surrendered obedience, Jonah obeyed.
Jonah traveled 500 miles from the beach in Joppa to Nineveh. It probably took him two and a half to three weeks. Plenty of time to think about all he learned from his attempted escape from a task he didn’t want to do. Did he plead with God to change His mind? Or did he continue to worship, giving thanks and praising God for His love and compassion?
We don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. Not really. Whether Jonah trudged reluctantly, dreading his assignment or sang joyfully in awe of His God who loved and forgave, Jonah continued to surrender to God.
When he arrived in Nineveh, a city so big it took three days to walk through it, Jonah proclaimed God’s message,
Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Jonah 3:4
Surrendered Obedience Impacts Others
The people of Nineveh responded immediately to what Jonah said. Everyone, from the greatest to the least, including the king, put on sackcloth. The king even required all of the animals to be covered with sackcloth to show God the seriousness of the repentance of the people.
Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows, God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish. Jonah 3:9
The Ninevites chose to surrender to God. They prayed for compassion. And, just as He did for Jonah, God forgave and redeemed the people of Nineveh.
Jonah’s surrendered obedience impacted a lost people. Headed to destruction, when they heard Jonah’s proclamation, the Ninevites changed their attitudes and actions. They called on God and asked for His compassion and mercy.
Our Surrendered Obedience
Our God is a compassionate God. He longs for us to cry to Him, to turn from our sin and in surrendered obedience, respond to Him. He wipes our sin away and replaces it with the love and peace that come from following Him.
God calls us to live in surrendered obedience to Him. Our words and actions can spread like dandelion seeds, as we share the good news of God’s love. What is God calling you to do? Where is He calling you to go? Who can you impact with surrendered obedience?
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