Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. (vs.15) So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. (vs.17) Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:1-3, 15, 17
How many of you know that obedience is better than sacrifice?
Here in the first few verses of Jonah, we see that God gave Jonah a command. But instead of Jonah adhering to the command of the Lord, he ran away. In vs.15 and 17, we see that because of Jonah's disobedience to the Lord, he was cast into the sea, swallowed by a fish, and remained in the belly of that fish for three days and three nights.
Later on in Chapter 2, and the beginning of Chapter 3, you will see Jonah being given a second chance to do what God told him to do in the first place. SOUNDS FAMILIAR?
So many times, we are instructed or commanded by God to perform a task or duty. And because we either don't agree with it, or because we are uncomfortable with it, we disobey God. But there are consequences for disobeying God.
Just as Jonah suffered consequences for disobeying God, we too should be aware and expect punishment for disobeying God. Though we may not spend three days and three nights in the belly of a fish, we can expect to spend some time suffering. How long we suffer is really up to us. How long will it take you to repent and ask God for another chance? I think Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish because that's how long it took him to come to his senses and repent. (Read the entire story of Jonah and learn from it).
The next time God commands you to do something, JUST DO IT!!!!
And Samuel saith, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 1Samuel 15:22