There’s something else behind Sunday’s Old Testament reading from Jonah (apart from the whale), it’s the “why.” Why is Jonah desperately ignoring God?
In a word, Nineveh. Nineveh is the capital of the empire that’s threatening to invade. God is calling Jonah to preach to the enemy, which helps explain Jonah’s response to God’s call.
If we’re going to do something, we plan, we pull together what we can, and we make sure we can finish what we start. If we don’t, we set ourselves up to fail – if we’re doing it on our own.
Jonah thinks God is calling him to do it on his own, and Jonah knows he can’t. Jonah’s right - about the second part, he can’t do it on his own. But Jonah couldn’t be more wrong about the first part.
More on this tomorrow.