Thanks for coming back for Day 4 – the last day of the series, I am like Jonah – are you? Yesterday we learned so much about God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. If you didn’t get a chance to read Day 1 / Day 2 / or Day 3 click on the links to catch up and then come back and join me here, only if you have time 😉
This is the last day that we will studying the Book of Jonah together. WOAH! What wisdom we have already learned in this small book of the Bible. Let’s see what God has for us today!
We are on Day 4 / Lesson 4 / Chapter 4
Open your Bible to Jonah 4 and read it for yourself or you can click online HERE and then come right back.
Jonah 4:1-4 says,
This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 2So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Like the verses above says when Jonah saw how Nineveh changed from their evil ways and how the Lord withheld His vengeance and did not destroy them, Jonah became angry at the Lord for withholding his judgment. What a weird twist, right? God was gracious with Jonah, to not allow him to die in the sea or in the belly of the fish, yet Jonah was angry with God for distributing the same grace to thousands of people in Nineveh.
How thankful I am for God’s unfailing love and compassion towards me. I have made so many mistakes, sinned more times than I could dare to count or remember. And every time even when God convicts me of my sin, He does it with love. He loves us all – He cares for us all. His desire is for none to perish, every human is HIS creation, made in His image. God loves even the most evil person. God even loves ISIS. Can you wrap your heart and mind around that for a moment? All that is going on in Paris right now hurts the Lord’s heart, for even the people of ISIS were made in His image. They were not created to kill. They were created to live lives that would seek Him and seek after His ways. To love others and honor others.
God is the one who decides when He will give or withhold judgment and when He decides to give mercy. My heart goes out to Jonah. I can understand part of Jonah’s anger, but let us learn from Jonah and not do as he did. I would hope that if I was in Jonah’s shoes I would rejoice with all the people of Nineveh and not mourn and become angry because they decided to turn from evil and turn to GOD!
Jonah was so angry at the situation he decided to leave the city. I can only imagine that some people in the city would have offered for him to stay there, but he left the city because of his own anger. He decided the hot beach was better! Angry much Jonah?!
Soon thereafter God allowed a small plant to grow, and it comforted Jonah. Then the Lord also allowed a worm to eat the root and it caused the plant to lie, which caused Jonah more anger and pain. Scriptures say in Jonah 4:9-11,
Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”
“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”
Then the LORD said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
God allows us to question him, but God also desires for us to trust him. Jonah had such a hard time trusting God. God sees the big picture, we cannot. We are down here, and God in His infinite wisdom, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect, Holy self. God loved the people of Nineveh, and he saved 120,000 from death and they now living a life serving the one and only true GOD!
Let us not be Christians that challenge God’s compassion, let us be Christians who trust God inteh midst of our questions. Let us trust God that He will choose who to pour out vengeance on and who to pour out mercy on.
If you could summarize this entire book into one word what would it be? I believe it is all about FORGIVENESS. Jonah could not forgive the the people of Nineveh, even though God did. I have been like Jonah in this area of my life. I have struggled forgiving some people because I wanted to control the situation or I felt they did not deserve it. But God said surrender it all to me and I will deal with it. God say,
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ “
I know I am thankful for His mercy upon my life. Because even though I deserved vengeance, He gave me His mercy and lavishing love.
What about you friend?
Are you thankful for His mercy and forgiveness on your life but are quick to judge others and their sin? If so, pray and give it to the Lord!
Yes, I once was like Jonah but now I am more like Jesus!
How about you?
Thanks so much for joining me in the Bible Study of the book on Jonah! Please share in the comments below what the Lord revealed to you through this study.