Skip to main content

Have mercy

But Jonah went out from the city and sat down east of the city. There he made himself a hut and sat under it, in the shade, to see what would happen to the city.

Then the LORD God provided a shrub, and it grew up over Jonah, providing shade for his head and saving him from his misery. Jonah was very happy about the shrub. But God provided a worm the next day at dawn, and it attacked the shrub so that it died. Then as the sun rose God provided a dry east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint. He begged that he might die, saying, “It’s better for me to die than to live.”

God said to Jonah, “Is your anger about the shrub a good thing?”

Jonah said, “Yes, my anger is good—even to the point of death!”

But the LORD said, “You ‘pitied’ the shrub, for which you didn’t work and which you didn’t raise; it grew in a night and perished in a night. Yet for my part, can’t I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than one hundred twenty thousand people who can’t tell their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” Jonah 4:5-10 (Common English Bible)

God took away Jonah's shade and shelter and again, Jonah became suicidal. What a person focuses on, they will become engrossed by. This is why worship is not an event that we go to or do once or twice a week, but it is a place we live in. Everyone has problems that come at them and challenge them. Everyone has good things, blessings, that bring them joy or comfort. God is above our earthly problems and comforts. Both our problems and our comforts can distract us from God and our lifestyle of worshiping God.

Unbelieving believers delude themselves into thinking that they are saved, God-followers; while they themselves live in unbelief and lack of faith and are not really walking with God, but going their own way. We are all in process and becoming more godly and spiritually mature, until the day we die. But, the unbelieving believer is not in their process. So, God prepares circumstances and even disciplinary action to bring the unbelieving believer into the growth process.

God again questions Jonah about his anger. God does not rebuke Jonah directly or demand change, but is reasoning with him; again. God wants to develop Jonah (1). Again, rather than belittling Jonah, God meets him where he is and compares Jonah's pity for the shrub with his own pity on Nineveh. God does not say, "you are so far from where I am in this, that I can't even talk to you". God steps down into his world and finds an object lesson there. God took away his shade plant and blew away his hut, taking away his comforts that he prized so highly, to get his attention.

There is no final word about Jonah changing. God is who God is: merciful. We learn that in Jonah's book. We also learn that God uses deeply flawed vessels: cracked pots. We also learn that God can change His mind. We saw that some prophecies are conditional: the positive word will come to pass if you walk with God, or the negative word will not come to pass if you repent.

Jesus said, "The citizens of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it as guilty, because they changed their hearts and lives in response to Jonah’s preaching. And look, someone greater than Jonah is here." Matthew 12:41 (Common English Bible)

Jonah, the reluctant preacher-prophet, preached a simple and possibly harsh message to Nineveh for only a few days. He did no miracles. He was a stranger to them. He was prejudiced against his audience. Yet, Nineveh responded beautifully and found God. God had mercy on Jonah all along the way and God was merciful with Nineveh.

The assigner of the assignment is more important than the person who receives the assignment. God can use anyone. Jonah teaches us to heed God's call and let God move. The same mercy is good for the "professional" that is good for the "sinner".

Jesus saves.

1. A critical and exegetical commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Jonah,, Volume 23; By Hinckley Gilbert Thomas Mitchell, John Merlin Powis Smith, Julius August Bewer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Two Disciples and The Two Donkeys

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,  Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
-Matthew 21:1-7

On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. But, he had two disciples get two donkeys: a mother donkey and her colt. Jesus rode the young male who had never been ridden before. In his carefulness and perhaps kindness towards these two donkeys, he had th…

God's Secret, Hidden People

(The children) of Elam 1,254.  -Ezra 2:7

Do you feel hidden?

The name Elam means secret or hidden.  Do you feel like you are on the shelf, not being used by God?  Maybe you are part of God's secret agents.

God has people who are in secret.

I have this idea that God has His attention on secret people.   I believe that God has rewards for secret people coming.  You may feel on the shelf, but you are actually hidden for a special purpose.  God has you in reserve.

The number one thousand, two-hundred, and fifty-four; tells us God's plan for his hidden, secret, and in reserve children

One thousand speaks of recompense.

Recompense means that you will be compensated or made amends to, due to harm or loss you suffered. In Genesis 20:16 is the story of Abimelech recompensing Abraham and Sarah.

Two speaks of fellowship, partnership, and co-laboring (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There are hidden people who have felt like they are "going it alone", who are about to be joined by someone.  …

God Will Always Bless Your Rest, by Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke:

"So in Genesis 2, by the seventh day, God completed his work which he had done and he rested on the 7th day from all his work he had done, and then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.

God will always bless your rest.

Always.

Since I learned rest, there has never been a time when God has not blessed that rest and honored that rest and sanctified my rest.

In other words, set aside peace for me; set aside rest for me.

So, for me, therefore, when God blesses something and sanctifies it and sets it apart; what that means is rest is always available as an absolute essential for life.

So, every circumstance you encounter already has rest in the issue.

No matter how hard, no matter how harsh, no matter how difficult, no matter how awful; every single circumstance has rest, because it's the one thing that God has blessed and sanctified, in terms of his relationship with you.

So, it'…