Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
When God created man everything He created was good in fact very good Gen. 1:31. God is good, His way is good, and the life He planned for man is good. The enemy to that good is the devil who uses lies to deceive us or to get us to believe what is not the truth. In the book of Jonah the plan God had for Jonah’s life was good. He was to go to Nineveh to preach the Gospel to get them to repent. Jonah disobeyed, boarded a ship, went in the opposite direction towards Tarshish, and had nothing but storms of trouble. Eventually gets thrown overboard and then swallowed by a whale.
Sometimes people’s disobedience puzzles us but the fact of the matter is that very often behind their disobedience is a belief in a lie. What we believe will be seen by the way we behave. Jonah believed lies. What were the lies?
1. That you can run from the call of God.
2. That you can hide from the presence of God.
3. That he would be better off fighting God’s will for his life.
4. That he knew better than God what was good for him.
5. That he could live independent of God and he could better his own lot in life.
6. That he could escape responsible obedience by drowning himself (We may not drown ourselves in water but what about activities, other pursuits, involvements, work, recreation…).
7. That the Word of God did not apply to his case as though he had special immunity from obedience, a special dispensation, and that he was the exception to the law of sowing and reaping.
The truth he learned was, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy,” they invite their own calamity, they have to learn the hard way, they make their lives a disaster area and horrible mess. After he was delivered from the belly of the whale back up to the will of God, he went to Nineveh, preached, and the people repented (Jonah chapter 3).
What was the truth?
1. God doesn’t always give us all the reasons in advance to His commands to obey.
2. We need to obey the truth.
3. To fight against God and the truth is to fight against our own good.
4. To run from God is to run from our own good, and the good of others.
In these Last days of the Church on Earth before Jesus’ Return we need to stand valiant for the truth and obey God in all He’s planned for us to accomplish. It is good and very good (Gen. 1:31).