Jonah 4:1-11 – Being Angry at God

Read Jonah 4:1-11

We can shake our head at Jonah’s response, but then we should probably look at the mirror. We, too, have had times in our life when we have been angry at God for one reason or another. Have we, like Jonah, ever been angry at God because of God’s mercy and grace?

Jonah seemed appalled that God changed his mind. Was it because now Jonah looked “bad” for delivering a false message? Nobody wants to look stupid, especially when doing work for God. I suppose that’s why a lot of believers keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or look unprepared when spreading the gospel. In reality, I’m sure the people of Nineveh were delighted that God had given them a reprieve. They didn’t give the messenger another thought.

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Jonah 3:1-10 – Are You Ready?

Read Jonah 3:1-10

We don’t see people today wearing burlap as a sign of cleansing and repentance. But in Jonah’s time, it would have been amazing to see, even the king, listening and responding to the warning from God. What Jonah proclaimed was destruction. He didn’t give them an “unless.” That is, Nineveh will be destroyed unless you repent! But the people showed their respect, and their tears of sorrow melted God’s heart.

It was quite unexpected to see the people of Nineveh believing God’s word. I think of the Israelites who went on and on living their idol worshipping lives despite the efforts of Jeremiah, for example. He told them to repent because their worship of other gods angered the one true God.

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Jonah 1:1-17 – Running from God

Read Jonah 1:1-17

The Book of Jonah may be considered one of the 12 minor prophets. Surprisingly, we’ll see that Jonah himself never gives an oracle from God like other prophets. Why, then, is it a prophetic book? Because the story or parable that we encounter does have a very important message for us, just as if God himself had spoken the words through Jonah. Reference is made to Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25, as well, identifying him as a prophet.

The story Jonah tells may also be familiar to you from Sunday School classes or Vacation Bible School skits. I’ll never forget using tuna to create the illusion of being inside a big fish! As you read through this short book this time, set aside what may be familiar and look deeper at God’s message for you.

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