When we were small and not knowing many things, we were taught many things by our parents, some of them came in form of instructions. We were told to do many things that are beneficial for us and not to do things that are harmful. The tricky part was that many things that are beneficial for us are not fun / pleasant to do but those that are harmful are fun / pleasant to do. Thus, sometimes it was hard for us to follow those instructions until we face the consequences of not obeying them.
For instance, we were told to brush our teeth and to eat less of sweet things such as candy in order to not damage our teeth. Being a toddler, brushing our teeth surely didn’t count as fun thing to do but eating candy and chocolate is obviosly a hobby. A toddler will continue his/her childish behavior until he/she experiences bad consequences, in this case tooth ache.
Sometimes God put us in unpleasant condition not because He is an evil God nor He meant bad for us but mainly He doesn’t want us to continue our harmful behaviour and preventing us to experience worse consequence in the future. This was what happened to Jonah when he was swallowed by a large fish (presumably whale). Jonah was not obedient towards his calling and God knowing his disobedience will cause the judgment on Niniveh to proceed, thus He took this extreme measure upon Jonah.
Jonah finally realised his mistake and repented before God in the belly of the whale. Then, the whale throw out Jonah out of its belly. Jonah then embraced his mission and proclaimed God’s message to the people of Niniveh. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them (Jonah 3:5). They escaped the apocalypse and Jonah’s mission succeeded.
Obedience is probably one of the hardest character to develop in our life. Sometimes we need to go through several roadblocks and obstacles in order for us to obey God’s command. However if we understand the heart of our Father God, it become easier for us to trust in Him and obey all His instructions for we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and called according to His purpose.
Let us learn daily to develop more of our trust in Him for to obey is better than to sacrifice.
Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!