Reference: v.3a But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I have a good friend who doesn’t attend church regularly but finds her faith very important to her. While she grew up in a non-Christian home she has noticed that she has always had a prominent Christian influence wherever she has gone. A friend from primary school took her along to girls club during the week; some friends from secondary school invited her to youth group events on the weekend; her first boss was a very dedicated Christian; she met some family members for the first time in her twenties only to discover they were heavily involved in church and when she met me, well, now she’ll never be able to escape someone talking about God!! She is really open and honest about these people in her life and we often joke that God has got His number on her. No matter where she goes there will always be “God-people” there!
And yet this is true for all of us. No matter where we go we can experience God’s presence in our world. He has a desire to connect with every single one of us it’s just that sometimes we don’t give Him our attention. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have done, God wants to be in relationship with us. Often we think we are not good enough to be close to God but we then need to be reminded of Jonah. In this passage Jonah is asked directly by God to go to Ninevah to speak to the people. They are turning away from God and He has chosen Jonah to be the one to tell them the truth. I guess you could say that God has chosen Jonah to go and fix the situation, therefore God is using Jonah as a tool to help fix a situation.
The word ‘tool’ is an interesting one. Many people my age today actually use the word ‘tool’ to call someone an idiot. “That person is such a tool!” And yet it seems that God does actually use tools to be his tool!! God asks Jonah to be instrumental in communicating His message, and what does he do… he runs the other way. Now, I’m not too sure why God chose Jonah to be his instrument because it seems he doesn’t even realise that God is everywhere and you can never run away from Him! But God rarely uses the best, the biggest and the wisest to speak for Him. He used a sinner to start the human race, a murderer to free His people from slavery, an adulterer to lead His people through much opposition and now a tool to instruct people on how to live.
Application: God is willing to use each one of us as His tool too. And I mean ‘tool’ in both descriptions. We know that we are not perfect and we often do ‘toolish’ things however God can use us as an important tool in His plans. If we are willing He can use us, as the most simple person, to do great things for Him. We just need to be open to His guidance and willing to step outside our comfort zone. How can you be a tool for God today?
Prayer: Lord, you are willing to use the most simple people to follow you. As we strive to be the best instrument for You, may we notice Your presence with us every step of the way. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.