The story of Jonah is one of the most well-known stories in the entire Bible.
- God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh.
- Jonah runs the other direction.
- Jonah gets swallowed by a big fish.
- Jonah preaches to Nineveh.
- Nineveh repents and turns to God.
That’s the story we are generally told. However, the point of the story is really found in chapter 4.
Read Jonah 4:1-11
As the capital of Assyria, what did Nineveh represent to Israel and to Jonah?
What was Jonah’s reaction to the fact that the Ninevites actually heard his message and repented?
What was it about God’s character that Jonah did not appreciate in this instance? (v. 2)
As Jonah sat in the hot sun, what did God provide for him?
What was Jonah’s attitude when God took it away?
Compare Jonah’s attitude towards Nineveh with God’s attitude toward Nineveh.
Is there anyone in your life today that you really don’t feel gracious toward? Is there someone that, if something terrible happened to them, you would secretly feel a sense of smug satisfaction?
How does God feel about that person?
In what ways are you like Jonah in your attitude toward this person?
Ask God to search your heart and fill you with a supernatural dose of His grace in your life. What Jonah forgot was that all nations are God’s, not just Israel. God loved the 120,000 people of Nineveh who were living in the darkness of sin and paganism.
On Monday we vented a bit about the depravity of our culture and the fast track to bloodsport we are on. While God despises these things, we need to remember that God is a “gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” So should be our attitude toward the world. If we focus on being right with God and spilling into the world of darkness, rather than trying to stomp out all the darkness around us, we will have a much better time of things.
Let’s not be like Jonah. Let the fish eat his proper food, we’ll willingly go to “Nineveh” and share the love of Christ…even with our enemies.