I’ve been studying through the life of Jonah in preparation for our O.T. Character Studies group launching today at Calvary Baptist. I started with 2 Kings 14:25 the verse Jonah might have had printed on his business card.
The author is tracing the history of the kings of Israel and Judah and comes to Jeroboam II. He writes, “He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amitttai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.”
Jonah – a speaker for God Would anyone prefer a higher calling, a greater description, a superior honor? The LORD spoke through Jonah. The LORD’s message was communicated to the king and the nation and boundaries were restored despite the rebellion of the Northern Kingdom. Prophets brought God’s message to God’s people.
Jonah – a servant of God Jonah was not serving himself or his country but his God, the God of Israel, the God who had created all things, who had called out Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and formed a nation through his descendants. God, who had been merciful to a rebellious people, who had protected, provided and purposefully directed their steps.
If only, if only, if only 2 Kings 14:25 was the only reference to Jonah in the Bible. We’d be left with a strong admiration for this speaker for God, this servant of God. But the biblical text takes us to the book of Jonah.
The God who spoke THROUGH Jonah, speaks TO Jonah. “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because it’s wickedness has come up before me.'” Another opportunity to speak for God, another opportunity to serve God. But this time instead of running with the message FOR GOD, he runs FROM GOD.
The applications for our lives are countless. I’m looking forward to hearing honest testimonies this evening.