Monday, February 4, 2013

Jonah Chapter Four (Audio)

Jonah, seeing that the people of Nineveh had repented, became livid. "God, I knew You are a God of compassion, and I knew You really wanted to spare Nineveh, and I wanted to see them destroyed, so that's why I tried to get away. So kill me now God, because it's better for me to die than to know that my enemies have been spared." A bit over the top don't you think?

But God allows Jonah to be mad, however He does ask Jonah if he really has a reason to be mad. Jonah doesn't provide a verbal answer. Instead, he goes outside the city and sets up a shelter that provides him a good view, in hopes that God will still destroy Nineveh.

God though provides him an object lesson. A plant grows up next to Jonah's shelter, and provides Jonah shade from the sun. Jonah may have been thinking "I went about this thing all wrong. I should have just been mad at God and He would have provided something desirable for me." Yet, the plant was gone just as quickly as it had appeared. Jonah was again upset.

It soon became clear that Jonah was more concerned about the plant than he was about the people God, who for no other reason that He is merciful and compassionate, chose to spare after pronouncing judgment against them.

Jonah ends with an open ended question. What does that mean for us? Listen to the sermon from yesterday. Let me know what you think.

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