Lessons From The Story Of JONAH: Religion is one of the many phenomenon that is very dear to man. The concept of religion lies in the philosophy of creation, existence and mysteries sourounding human existence.
Man is a religious being. The religious nature and affiliation of man rest also on his weaknesses and vulnerability.
There are so many religions in existence and so many mystical ideologies. Philosophical thoughts and propositions has been able to subject these religious beliefs and practices to logical objective critique as to whether or not there is a need to believe in such mysteries.
There are few main religious beliefs in the world with lots of worshipers. Amounts these are the Muslim worshipers and the Christian religious worshipers.
This two religion dominates the world religious stage and considered as the majority religion while others are in the minority. While the Muslim religion is known to believe and worship prophet muhammad and, practicing the religion in accordance with his teachings and doctrines as recorded the the holy quran, the Christian religion is based in the teachings, doctrines and admonishment of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
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The Christians work, act and practice the religion (christianity) according to the Biblical recordings, that is, what is recorded in the Bible. We will focus more on the Christian religion and teachings, thereby exploring the Bible and some of the teachings found in the Bible.
It suffices to say that, christianity is a religion deeply rooted in moral standards and uprightness. It’s mantra seem to find flavor in righteousness and holiness which is a concept that suggests self-purity.
The bible contains series of stories targeted at admonishing and restoring moral values and belief in the sacredness of God the maker of the universe. One of the stories found in the Bible is the story of Jonah. The story of Jonah is one that teaches about obedience, compassion, truth, loyalty and kindness to others.
It also has one or two lessons to teach about wrong doing and genuine repentance. The story of Jonah can be found in the scriptural provision as contained in the book of Jonah and recorded in the four chapters therein.
The story of Jonah is one centered on his command to visit the ancient city of Nineveh. The city of Nineveh was recorded to have committed great sins and abominations against God and had turned away from good and moral doings, embracing evil and great wickedness.
God had the intention of saving them but only if they would repent of their evil. Their repentance was to start by listening to the gospel and reminded that they had forsaken the good and just way.
This was the mission assigned to Jonah (a prophet of God) to carry outm Jonah had great displeasure about the people of the city and would rather see them utterly destroyed than have them saved.
When Jonah was given the instruction to go to the city and preach the gospel to the people and have them repent, Jonah tried to abscond to a different place and to hide himself there until the people are destroyed. He had tried to flee through the sea and so boarded a ship going to a different country.
He was met with a great storm at mid sea and the turbulence was unbearable for the crew members that they sought solution in other not to have their ship overtaken by the great turbulence.
This led to them casting a lot to determine who had caused such disturbance (as they believed it was an act of God), and the lot fell on Jonah who asked that he be bundled up and thrown into the sea to save the day.
The crew did same and the storm seized afterwards. Jonah did not drown in the sea but rather had been swallowed by a whale commanded by God to carry out that task.
Jonah had stayed alive in the stomach of the whale for three whole days and repented of his disobedience right in the belly of the whale from where he praid to God for forgiveness and to be given a second chance to go to the city of Nineveh and carry out the original assignment.
God had listened to the prayer and repentance of Jonah and commanded the whale to vomit Jonah at the shore of the country. Jonah later went to the city and preached to them about their level ways.
They felt sorry about their evil ways, showed remorse and repented and was eventually forgiven by God.
This is a story that has a lot of lessons embedded in it and we will take a look at some of the lessons that could be learnt from the story of Jonah.
Top 10 Lessons From The Story Of Jonah
1. Sin Comes With Consequences: The story of Jonah as we have briefly seen is one that teaches a lot about sin and the consequences of commiting sin.
Beginning from the people of Nineveh who had incurred the fury of God with their sins and moral ways, to the act of Jonah trying to flee from the Lord to a different country but was met with great storm onshore.
Every sin one endulges himself in carries or comes with it consequences.
2. Disobedience To God Is An Affront: The story here just indicated how God felt with regards to Jonah’s behavior.
Jonah had tried to flee from God and not attend to the instructions given to him by God. Such behavior was a disobedience and was met with God’s anger causing great turbulence at sea.
3. God Is Everywhere: Apart from the fact that God knew the state of Nineveh and how evel they were, God showed himself as being everywhere and being able to see everywhere and everything by identifying Jonah on his way to Tarsus.
He also identified him in the belly of the whale where he was for three days.
4. God Is Merciful: Though the people of Nineveh had done great evil against God and was prone to damnation, God was willing to give them a second chance to amend their ways and repent.
When they eventually showed remorse for their sins and moral decadence, God pardoned them and spared them from his fury and condemnation.
5. God Gives Opportunity To Everyone: Even though the city was in far away country and had led a life of atrocities, not worthy of mercy or compassion, or deserving a second chance to make a change, God gave them the opportunity to make a choice between salvation and damnation.
6. God Is Powerful:
The great power of God was heavily manifested in the story. Elements like water and wind are things that man is incapable of influencing or controlling, these are thesame elements that God used to intercept Jonah on his way to a far away country.
7. God Does Not Derive Pleasure In Condemning His People: This is close to the point that God gives a second chance to his people.
God would have concluded, resolve and destroy Nineveh at the instant their sins became unbearable but he didn’t, he decided to give them a chance to repent and consequently pardoned them.
8. God’s Love Extend To Every Nation: This story shows that every Nation enjoys God’s Grace and mercies.
Nineveh didn’t deserve what they got (if man was to be the judge) but fortunately, God sees every Nation as deserving his grace and mercies and his unending love for man.
9. God Can Use Of Anything To Carry Out His Intentions: The idea of using a whale to deliver Jonah back to Nineveh was quite exceptional and nearly unbelievable.
Only God can do such a thing and that proved his supremacy and ability to use anything he so desires to carry out his divine plans.
10. The Importance Of Repentance: Sin can be very consequential but considering God’s Grace and mercies, it may not be the end.
Repentance is the key to escaping God’s wrath. True repentance gives one the opportunity to gain God’s favor again in the light of his love and grace.
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The story of Jonah is one of the many Biblical stories that are not just interesting but a strong foundation for the Christian faith and religion.
The moral and sacred lessons embedded in the story are of great inspiration and encouragement to every single person that considers himself a true believer of the gospel.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.