The good news is that the creatures that have fallen short of God’s glory can be redeemed. Whatever the enemy has meant for evil, God turns for good. When God created the tanninim he knew how they would degrade, but in his mind he was also thinking of Jonah.
In Jonah’s story we have a great lesson of the redeeming power of God for the tanninim and man.
In the beginning of Jonah’s story we find Jonah running away from two profound things that are eternally inseparable: Yahweh’s presence and his Word. When God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it, Jonah goes down to Joppa and boards a ship going the other way to Tarshish. As Jonah was fleeing the Lord’s presence, God caused a violent storm that threatened to sink the ship. Jonah was below the deck in a deep sleep, indicative of the spiritual slumber he had chosen. But even though he was trying to shut out God, he was not able to. What seems to the sailors as the end of their lives is really God’s mercy revealed in a storm. Yahweh is shaking Jonah out of his sleep!
Ironically, it is the unbelieving Gentiles that wake up Jonah and plead with him to pray. Not only that, they have enough wisdom to discover that Jonah is responsible for the calamity. Could it be that the world is experiencing judgment because the church has tried to run from its call? Is the call for prayer and repentance coming more from outside the church than from within? Everything about Jonah’s story has prophetic significance for us today, especially the fact that the Gentiles are pleading with a Jew. This is the call of Gentiles today: to awake the Jews to their prophetic call, the very call they are running from. Throughout history there has been a strong tendency for Jews to not want to be God’s chosen, to just fit in and be like the other nations. But no matter how far they run, God in his mercy causes storms to bring them to repentance in order that they would fulfil their prophetic, apostolic and priestly destiny.
Prayer: Lord, help us to see that you are using the world to wake up the church as well as Israel. Let us see your wake up call like Jonah saw his, in Jesus’ name.