“The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3
A young man was preparing to leave home for his first year at college. Both the boy and his father were committed Christians, and the father was having some concerns about his son attending a secular college. Just prior to his son’s leaving home, the father came to him and expressed concern: “Son, I want you to know how important it is that you don’t go off to college and get confused and mesmerized by all the secular teaching you’re going to hear. I don’t want you to lose your faith in Scriptures—and I especially don’t want you to lose Jonah out of your Bible.” The son assured him, “Dad, that’s not going to happen. I’ll be fine. I’ll go to college and come home and I’m sure I’ll still believe in the story of Jonah.” So off he went to college and at the end of the first semester he returned home, and his father called him into to his study to talk. “Well, son do you still believe in Jonah?” “Yes sir, I do. But I don’t think you do.” “What are you talking about, son?” the father asked. “Dad, you don’t even have Jonah in your Bible,” the son answered. “Why, I course I do. What are you talking about?” “Sorry, Dad. You don’t. Hand me your Bible.” The father pulled his Bible from the shelf and sure enough the book of Jonah was missing from his Bible. “What happened to Jonah?” his father asked. “Well, Dad, You were so concerned about my losing faith in the books like Jonah when I went off to college that I decided to see how valuable it was, so I carefully cut it out of your Bible. It hasn’t been there for months.” His father was speechless. “After all, Dad, is it any worse to lose Jonah from education than it is to lose it from neglect?”
The story illustrates that Jonah is one of those books in the Bible that everyone is familiar with but no one seems to read. How is it that every Christian, and many non-Christians, know the story of Jonah and the whale but have either never read the whole book, or if they have had read it, know little else about it? Pray for God to cultivate an appetite for His Word in your life?? Take the challenge to read a chapter a day of God’ Word, begin in Proverbs or Matthew, don’t wait, make it happen today!!