A tale of two prophets
June 1, 2023
In my last article, I wrote about the prophet Isaiah. His response to God’s call was, “Here I am, send me.” He was willing to be used by God before he even knew what God was asking of him and was faithful to carry out every difficult task.
In this article I want to focus on the prophet Jonah. God specifically told him to go to Nineveh, calling the people to repent of their wickedness. Instead, he ran in the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah ran because Nineveh was a very evil place, enemies to his own people. They went so far as to capture, torture and kill Jews. Jonah resented them and wanted to see them destroyed rather than repentant and forgiven. But God had repentance and forgiveness in mind.
We all know the story of Jonah being thrown overboard, swallowed by a fish and being spat out on shore. But that’s not the focus of this article. Instead, this is the tale of two prophets. The first, Isaiah, was called to the unknown and went without question. The second, Jonah, was called to a specific task and he ran away from it.
Isaiah preached repentance to his own people, those he loved and was rejected. Jonah preached repentance to people he hated, but they listened. Despite this, Isaiah served his mission faithfully and gladly, while Jonah grumbled, complained and fought against God.
Like I said in my last article, we have all been given a mission by God. Will you respond like Isaiah or Jonah? Will your response be to tell God, “Here I am, send me,” or will you flee from the task God has given you? One thing these two prophets had in common was that God’s will was done despite their willingness or lack thereof.
I want to encourage you, dear reader, that God will complete the mission he has given you. Whatever God has called you to, it will be done. I implore you to go along with it willingly and gladly.
Philippians 2:13-15 says, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
We need to remember that as Christians we represent Christ to those around us. When we obey God with grumbling or go so far as to flee from what God has called us to, how are we to shine our light in a world of darkness?
God calls us to be in the world, not of the world (John 15:19). The world disobeys and runs from God. If we do the same, we are acting the same as the world. Instead, we must listen to God’s calling and be faithful to complete the mission given us with a glad heart.