Big Fish…Big Attitude – Jonah’s Long Walk

The Lord’s word came to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and declare against it the proclamation that I am commanding you.” And Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord’s word. (Now Nineveh was indeed an enormous city, a three days’ walk across.) (Jonah 3:1-3, Common English Bible).

I have either lived in Houston, a suburb of Houston, or close to Houston most of my life. Houston is a big city. It is the fourth largest city in the country by population but it is the ninth largest by land area. After doing some research I found that Houston is about 50 miles across.

Ninevah, in Jonah’s day, would most likely have been about 60 miles wide. All the Book of Jonah tells us is that it was a three-day journey across Ninevah. In the Biblical era, a day’s journey was generally considered to be about 20 miles.

According to the website, today a person, walking four miles per hour, on a seven and a half hour day would cover about 30 miles a day. That would mean you could walk across Houston in a day and about two thirds.

As we have already said, the distance across Ninevah would be about sixty miles. Using today’s pace, it would take about two days to cover the same distance.

Personally, I can’t imagine walking across Houston, no matter how many days it might take. Additionally, we would be walking on paved streets or sidewalks if we walked across Houston. Walking across Ninevah would, at least for the most part, been walking on dirt. It might be easier on the knees, but it would probably take longer. That might be why they covered 20 miles a day and we can cover 30.

To carry this thought one step further, if you figure Ninevah was 6o miles wide and 60 miles tall, that would be 3600 square miles God expected Jonah to carry this message. You are not going to cover that in three days. If I didn’t know better, I would say, “No wonder Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah.

When Jonah finally decided to follow God’s instructions, he didn’t expect it to be an easy task. The mileage alone would make this task difficult. I would not be easy to cover that number of miles in a car, much less on foot. Yet, Jonah went about doing exactly as God instructed. He probably did because of all he had been through. He might have even thought to himself, “If I don’t do this, what else could the Lord do to me?”

When God calls us to some kind of work, God never says it will be easy. God only expected Jonah to be obedient, regardless of the difficulty. It just took some extreme measures to get him there.

God asks the sane of us. What might God have to do in order to get you to be obedient? Chances are pretty good you might not find yourself in a giant fish belly but God does have other ways to dish out extreme treatment.

At some point, God calls us all. When God does make that call, will it require the extreme or will you be ready to make your way across Houston (as it were)?

Have a great day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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