It’s been a while. For the last few months of spring (graduation, new job, all that), things were crazy. Then the job came along, and instead of hating the routine like I thought I would, I found it… comfortable. I was challenged mentally and professionally – but not spiritually.
But one day, my worship leader told me, “I was praying for all of you individually, and on my heart, God just put one thing for me to tell you: Whale.” Needless to say, I was confused. The only whale in the Bible I could think of was Jonah. How could Jonah – probably one of the worst prophets – relate to me. But while I forgot about it, after a while, I noticed I was seeing whales everywhere: when walking around, exercising, on social media, you name it. So finally I gave in, and right now, I’m slowly going through the book of Jonah. Here’s what I have:
Jonah was a prophet who essentially decided he wanted to just abandon the people God called Him to speak to. He decided that they were not worthy of God’s grace.
He said in Jonah 4, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” He then claims that this is why he ran away.
So essentially, Jonah was a proud man. He was shown mercy and he had seen God’s goodness – yet he didn’t want others (who he implicitly deemed “less deserving”) to receive this same goodness.
When I was reading this, I came across another verse. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says to Samuel:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We see again the same theme: that for a land to be healed (whether it be our own or another land), God’s people need to have humility; they need to turn toward God and seek His ways. In both of these passages, we see that the people, instead of being humble, are exceedingly proud.
I was recently reading a devotional about how pride and self-doubt are both things that hinder humility.
It said that pride and self doubt are basically two sides of the same coin –
“One believes that we know better than God does, the other believes that he isn’t good or powerful enough to change us. Neither makes much of God, effectively bringing him down below us. The prideful and the self-doubters both believe they’re better than God, they just show it in different ways.”
This lack of humility doesn’y only affect us. Without humility, without prayer and seeking God’s face (and Word), we can deny healing to the lands and to the people around us.
So that said, maybe God’s “whale” message to me (and to you?) is: Stop running and stop being proud. Stop shunning people. Embrace Him, obey Him, seek His face, and be humble.