Fleeing To Your Destiny – Jonah 3:1-8 To Chance or To Choose?

Jonah 3:1-8

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.  So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.  So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.  For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Vocabulary Enrichment

Chance- n- something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intentions or observable cause; the assumed purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings

Choose- vb- to select freely and after consideration; to have a preference for

In this chapter, Jonah made a fleeing to his destiny choice instead of taking to chance a fleeing from his destiny. Enjoy!

Lesson- Much to his chagrin inside the belly of a great fish for three days and three nights Jonah learned it is a better choice to flee to God instead of fleeing from God. It is better to make choices, wise ones at best using the Holy Spirit as your guide when the Lord makes a request of you. We have all taken chances on something or someone. We have thrown our own selves overboard into a belly of a great fish far longer than 3 days and 3 nights. We have all ran and some still run in the opposite direction of God. During this journey, I was shown that I’ve made a few bad choices in my lifetime because of leaving things to chance, or doing what I thought was best even as a Christian. Praise the Lord for GRACE and God’s Protective Shield (GPS).

Remember Jonah’s escape happened due to Divine Intervention in Chapter 2? The Holy Spirit also showed me that the perfect example of a person making a wise choice is that of Abraham. Most of you that are reading here are familiar with the events of Abraham (Genesis 11-25). He could have taken a chance to run away and hide his son from God, something that most of us would do if God asked us to sacrifice one of our children. To chance anything is out of alignment for us to achieve God’s Will. What did Jonah achieve once he made the choice to serve God? He achieved his freedom from the seaweed wrap (you folks be careful of those seaweed wraps in Spa’s) and he delivered the message to Nineveh per God’s original request.

The Boom!!!… Insight given to me from the Holy Spirit! Let’s pen them as Abraham’s Choices. There are three (3) choices we must make in order to discern that we can’t hide anywhere nor hide anything from God. (TYHS) If you make these three choices, i.e., go out on the limb (mho) then as they say…“you know that you know that you know that if it had not been for the Lord on my side” is a good adage to evoke after failed attempts to flee God.

  1. You have to know God.
  2. You have to have faith in God.
  3. You have to be obedient to God.

Think about this… Aside from Jonah, how many people in the bible thought that hiding or fleeing from God was possible? In my heart rending lesson learned, Abraham made good choices. He knew God, had faith in God, and was obedient to God. It is NOT impossible for us to be as Abraham was.

I have also learned through research that Jonah was the only prophet chosen not to deliver a message to Israel and Judah. The other books are full of prophecies as compared to Jonah’s one prophecy to deliver. Now isn’t that interesting? Nineveh was full of wickedness, comparative to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. Folks, I’m here to tell you…Leave to chance to God and choose to serve Him using His GPS, aka The Holy Spirit. Romans 11:33(KJV) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  This verse is why I believe you should leave to chance with God. Was not Jonah’s encountering a purposeless unaccountable happening? If you are going to flee from something, you might as well make the choice to flee to your destiny. Let your Ebenezer stones of your past remembrances be your stepping stone onto dry land to make the right choices. Nobody likes to be wet all the time, unless you are a fish. 😛  Amen.

Enlightening Quotes / Relative Bible Verses

William Jennings Bryan (2) 

“If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.”

2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

Hebrews 11:7 – By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Frank Scully

“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t it where the fruit is?”

Luke 19:1-10 – And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Zacchaeus made a choice to go out on the limb, mho)

Unknown

“Liberty is the right to choose. Freedom is the result of the right choice.”

Galatians 5:1 -Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

You too can learn a lot from the book of Jonah. I was and still am in awe of the lessons I’ve learned during Lent 2014. It really does take rending your heart to God to learn what His destiny is for you to give you an “expected end.” It is definitely not to harm you. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Next Journey Shareware- Jonah 3:9-10

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6 comments on “Fleeing To Your Destiny – Jonah 3:1-8 To Chance or To Choose?

  1. Shelia. Thank you. Seems that the emotion which causes us to falter instead of going forward assuredly is fear or insecurity. But why are we afraid, and of what,exactly? Was Noah fleeing from the task to which he had been called because of downright disobedience or did he just lack confidence in his own ability to succeed? Does it really matter what his reason was though? Noah’s problem was not dissimilar to what many of us today experience when summoned. We are afraid of failure; so we either shy away altogether; or we seemingly “chance it,” relying on our human strength, rather than truly trusting God, and “choosing to go forward in faith,” as did Abraham, with the sure and convicted confidence in provenient grace. Ultimately, we stand aside and fiddle while Rome burns! Yes Angel, you are right on target when you say: … it is necessary to know God; to have faith in God; and to be obedient to God. We need to remember too Jesus’ injunction in Math.9: 37-38, and that more often than not when we are called, the ground has already been prepared, just awaiting our input.
    I am grateful to you for sharing your inspired thoughts and insights dear friend. Many blessings.

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  2. Laurel,
    You are welcome as always. No more fiddling or fear for me. For I know w/o a doubt from whence my rewards come and will come. Agreed Matt 9:37-38.
    Yes, most are afraid of failure and most like Jonah think they know what God is going to do anyway regardless of their part being done or not to help. Not a good attitude to have…because the Lord needs us to do our best when He calls upon us to do.
    Do we ever stop to think ? The Holy Spirit laid this question at my feet on April 19th 4:40 a.m. ….If He calls upon you to do, why would the thought of failure and fear even cross your mind? That is something to ponder. We should NEVER doubt when He speaks DIRECTLY to us. Now that’s making a good choice. I Love You!

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  3. Hi Sheila,

    I really like your three points:

    You have to know God.
    You have to have faith in God.
    You have to be obedient to God.

    To be faithful servants of the Lord …all three must be present in our lives. A great reminder for us all!

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