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Today, we finish up our look at Jonah, the grumpy prophet. For the most part, Jonah has been the example of what NOT to do. He tried to avoid obeying God. God wanted him to preach to the hated enemies of his country. Jonah tried to run away. God sent a storm. Jonah tried to die by being thrown overboard. God sent the big fish. Jonah committed himself to go to Nineveh. The city repented and God spared them. So, Jonah got mad. He sat out east of the city. God sent a vine to shade Jonah. The only time Jonah was happy in the entire book was when the vine shaded him. Then God sent a worm to kill the vine. Jonah was mad again. God did this to teach Jonah a lesson.
The book ends with God’s words in Jonah 4:10-11, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (NIV)
Jonah had a warped perspective. If God destroyed the city, 120,000 children – those who can’t tell their right hand from their left – would die. We must have the concern for people that God has. May we be compassionate and gracious like God!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.