DEVOTIONAL – DEC 2
JONAH’S CURIOUS WATCHNG
Leslie M. John
The repentance of Nineveh, the sinful city headed by a sinful king was greater than that of God’s servant. Jonah’s anger towards God shows that he desired the destruction of Nineveh.
In Jonah chapter 4 we read, with a great deal of uneasiness, concerning the jealousy of Jonah. As there is joy in heaven and earth for the conversion of sinners so is there grief over the follies and infirmities of saints. We hardly see anyone in Bible so fickle minded saint as Jonah was. He was very much out of temper proving that he was peevish and provoking.
In the first chapter we see him fleeing from God’s commandment; now in fourth chapter we see him fleeing from the face of God. Jonah inquires God if it was not true that his fleeing to Tarshish was because the LORD was “merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness”? Now, Jonah searches excuses for himself and finds reasons to blame God for not punishing Nineveh.
What grieves us is that, in the first instance he repented and returned to God and travelled to Nineveh; but very soon we see him desiring the destruction of Nineveh. While we read with wonder of his perverseness, we read on the contrary God’s tenderness towards him and the city of Nineveh whereby neither Jonah nor the city of Nineveh were punished.
GOD’s DEALING WITH JONAH
Jonah proclaimed the message from God to Nineveh and slyly traveled to the other side of Nineveh and sulked into a booth where he sat down under shadow to watch from there what would happen to Nineveh! He saw that God prepared a gourd and made it to grow over his head for a shadow in order to deliver him from his sorrow. Jonah was very glad that the gourd gave him shadow.
In the meanwhile God prepared a worm that struck the gourd and it withered. In addition to this God prepared a strong east wind to hit him and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head. He desperately cried out to God to take his life and said ”It is better for me to die than to live”. Then, God said to Jonah as to why he was angry for destroying the gourd overnight inasmuch as he did not labor for growing it up. Jonah sympathized the withering of Gourd, but he did not understand the love of God.
God asked him a question if Jonah as a man, had compassion towards the Gourd, which neither he planted nor watered, why God, who is the creator of this world, should not have mercy towards a city whose king and the people of that city repenting over their sins. God taught Jonah a lesson here that if Jonah was sympathetic to Gourd then there is no reason why Jonah should be angry over God’s sympathy towards the city of Nineveh with one hundred and twenty thousand people repenting. (Jonah 4:6-11)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10)
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)