Friday, July 31, 2020

Jonah's Anger and God's Compassion

Like the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son, Jonah is angry that Nineveh repented. He could not get passed his hard-heartedness toward his enemies. Like the older brother, he is furious at the soft-heartedness of the Father. And, like the story of the Prodigal Son, we never hear whether Jonah’s heart softened again. Study this conversation between Jonah and God, and let God speak to you about whether your heart has become hardened toward him or toward others. 

STUDY THE SCRIPTURE

Click here to access the reading from Jonah 4:1-11

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REFLECTION

I Told You So! 
by Judy Webb
  
Let's back up to the final verse in chapter 3. "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." This is what has Jonah so upset. God used his prophet Jonah to share a message to the people of Nineveh to change their ways or they would pay with their lives. Jonah told them, they changed, and God spared them. So why is Jonah going off the deep end here?

If you've been reading this book from the beginning, maybe you are having the same thoughts. What is wrong with this man? Who does he think he is? The mercy God gave to the sinful people of Nineveh is the same mercy God granted sinful Jonah while inside the belly of the whale.

"I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity."

Jonah knew all this, believed it, but he just didn't agree. I really don't know what to make of all this, but when I examine my own life, feelings and emotions, aren't I much like Jonah. Don't I want God's understanding and mercy for me? Don't I beg for his forgiveness and help when my life is in shambles, when I am stuck in the belly of a whale and unable to get out by myself?

God rescues me repeatedly, so, shouldn't I want the same for others? Shouldn't I be praying for those who try to harm me. Shouldn't my words be loving and kind to all who disagree with me?

Consider - God loves the sinful people in Nineveh. God loves us too.
Consider - God/Jesus is the only answer to the mess in this world.

UALC’S CAMPAIGN OF PRAYER - FRIDAY    
FAITH Pray for faith instead of fear, that many would come to faith in Jesus and that we would all trust God more deeply during this time.

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