Lesson 4 in our rerun of the Jonah Bible study.

Michelle Lesley

Jonah 1:3

 

Ever wonder why God didn’t stop Jonah before he ever even got to Joppa?  He could have, you know.  But instead, He allowed Jonah to make the 60-or-so mile trip from Gath-hepher to Joppa, allowed Jonah to find a ship that was willing to take him, and allowed Jonah to have the money to pay his fare.  Know why?  Because God was being merciful to Jonah.

Merciful?  Doesn’t it sound instead like God was providing Jonah more than ample rope to hang himself?  Uh uh.  From the moment Jonah got up and pointed himself at Joppa, the Holy Spirit was prodding Jonah’s conscience:

“This is wrong.”

“Don’t do this.”

 “Turn back.”

 …giving him chance after chance to turn from his sin and back to God.  Jonah must have heard God mercifully pleading with him with every step he took from front porch to gangplank, yet he hardened his…

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