Bible Meditation | Jonah 1:1
“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,” (Jonah 1:1)
The simplicity of this opening verse may cause us to miss its importance. The coming of the word of the LORD is the solution to life’s ailments. We tend to overlook the blessing of its presence in our lives, but let us repent quickly. Jonah, the rebellious prophet, received word from God not for safekeeping but for preaching.
Jonah was not always a rebellious prophet; throughout the book, we are given information revealing that Jonah once had a goodly relationship with the Lord. The first word of the first verse lends to that evidence. “Now” discloses an existing conversation or relationship between God and Jonah. It is unclear if Jonah went astray before or if the instruction itself made his disobedience manifest. When the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, it stirred in him a rebellious spirit to defy that word. I wonder how close any of us are to the place of rebellion, pending some instruction from God’s word that cuts to the dividing asunder.
God’s word always comes to a man. It is for man and is delivered to man through a man. If the one meant to deliver God’s words to the masses is in open rebellion, this is a recipe for spiritual disaster. The word of God is made manifest through preaching, hence the need for obedient men to produce that manifestation. The closer a society moves to a dearth of preachers in their land, the closer it moves to God’s judgment. The link between the world and the word of God is an obedient preacher.
Jonah’s actual relevance is measured in his receipt of God’s word. Without the word of the LORD, the book of Jonah is nothing more than the mythology of which it is accused. The word of the Lord is the central factor in Jonah’s life, in Nineveh, and in our lives. Without it, we have no guidance; each man is left to his own with respect to morality and a philosophical approach to life. If the prophets allow personal distaste for a people or culture, justified or not, to prevent their faithful deliverance of God’s word, blood will stain the hands of those preachers. God told Jeremiah, diminish not a word; let us go and do likewise.
It is an honor for any person to receive the word of God, and it is a failure to refuse its consistent distribution to the masses.
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:34)
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