Showing posts with label Jonah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jonah. Show all posts

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jonah 4

Jonah became very angry and is upset about LORD choosing to not destroy Nineveh.

He knew LORD too well, and here is what he told the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

LORD asked if he was right to be angry.

Jonah then left the city and sat in the hot sun where God causes a plant to grow to provide shade for Jonah. The next day LORD send a worm to kill the plant. Jonah then said it would be better for him to die. LORD questioned Jonah’s anger about the death of the plant, and asked him why he thought a plant should be spared from destruction but a large city like Nineveh should not.

My Thoughts
Just like how we know our best friend intimately, Jonah knew LORD very intimately - gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love.

If I ever thirst to taste pure and true love, I should look towards the LORD. One sip of His love makes me want more and more.

LORD sent Jonah to the city so that people would repent, and turn away from their sins - and they did. This made LORD happy.

When we repent, move away from sin, and shift our focus towards the LORD, He loves it.

Jonah 3

LORD told Jonah once again, to go to the city of Nineveh and proclaim the message He gave them. Jonah went there, and proclaimed, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Word reached the king, and the unexpected revival broke out. The king called everyone, including the animals into a period of repentance, fasting and mourning.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened.

My Thoughts
Repentance seems to be something LORD desires. When people of Nineveh repented, LORD relented, and decided not to destroy the city.

If I repent, and if He washes away all my sins, I can hope for an opportunity to go into LORD's presence.

Jonah 2

Jonah then prays from the belly of the fish. This psalm of thanksgiving vividly describes his near death and deliverance. He confesses that LORD has saved him in the midst of hopeless and distress situation.

Now that he has come to senses, he praises LORD for bringing him back to life and remembers the meaning of 'true loyalty'.

He then contrasted his situation with that of idol worshipers who concluded to worship and sacrifice to his LORD.
Jonah 2:8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”
The LORD then commanded the fish to deposit Jonah on dry ground.

My Thoughts
When was the last time I reached out to my LORD in a time of distress. Did He hear my prayer, during that desperate situation, and was I delivered from that situation?

Had I not prayed, and trusted in people, would I have had any hope of receiving LORD's grace?

Jonah 1

We have heard this story at Sunday school - kids illustrating the dramatic plot with numerous surprises. The book carries a vital message apart from the masterpiece.

Jonah has to learn that Israel's special relationship with LORD does not make Him their exclusive possession - He belongs to the whole world, and His care extends to everyone.

Jonah is called by LORD to go preach in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, and to denounce their wickedness. Instead, he flees on a ship going in an opposite direction towards Tarshish. He does this because he knows LORD too well. If the people of Nineveh repent, LORD will forgive them. However, Jonah wants that kingdom to be destroyed, and therefore he disobeys.

The LORD then sends a tempest, while Jonah is asleep on the ship. The mariners cast lots to ascertain who was responsible for the tempest, and realized it was Jonah. Jonah suggested they throw him overboard to save them.

At first, the mariners were reluctant to resort to this extreme measure, but did so, when the tempest did not abate. They then prayed that they may not perish because of throwing Jonah overboard.

The sea was calmed, and a great fish swallowed up Jonah, who was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

My Thoughts
I enjoy listening to the Sunday school version of 'Jonah and the whale', narrated by young children.