“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
Are we like Jonah?
“The magnanimous heart of God, forgiving the repentant heathen (Nineveh) appears in strong contrast to the narrow, bigoted and unforgiving spirit of Jonah.” (NASB Survey on the book of Jonah)
God chose to use that spirit in Jonah but Jonah knew something about God.
“He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? [That Nineveh would repent.] Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.” Jonah 4:2 (NASB) [added for clarity]
In Jonah’s heart was judgment. God wanted him to warn of judgment. In Jonah’s heart was the truth. God can be compassionate toward the repentant.
God wants Nineveh to repent as much as He wants Jonah to repent of his “stinkin thinkin” so God gives Jonah a “whale of a good time” and getting his attention Jonah submits and Nineveh repents.
Jonah is asked, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” (About a plant God grew to shade Jonah which died the next day) YES! Was Jonah’s reply.
“Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.
11 “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” Jonah 4:10-11 (NASB)
As God does, that is the last word in this short book of 2 pages.
God confronts both many and one, nations and persons.
“For Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and one who relents concerning calamity.” Jonah 4:10-11 (NASB)
God relents if we repent.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)
That which bothered God then, bothers Him now.
“As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 8:20 (KJV)
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 (NASB)
Many are to fall for lack of repentance; for their “stinkin thinkin.” Is God in His mercy warning us today? Like Nineveh, has our time of confrontation come?
Jonah was meant to be God’s mercy to Nineveh. Nineveh was meant to be God’s mercy to Jonah.
Jonah’s silence after God last questions him, may indicate success.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV)
God warns us through the loving knowledge of Christ. We must obey, repenting as we are confronted by His Words.
“If we remain in His grip, how far from His heart can we be!”
In the guardianship of Christ,
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