Jonah Obeys the Lord
1 Once again the Lord spoke to Jonah.2 He said,
Go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to the people the message I have given you.3 So Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to walk through it.4 Jonah started through the city, and after walking a whole day, he proclaimed,
In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!
This is a very good book to read if you’ve ever been angry at God. And let me tell you I have been,so much so that I to wanted to die! I mean I’ve been very angry with God like Jonah. That 4TH chapter kept throwing me. I knew why I was angry,but why was Jonah so angry? Besides all he had to do was what he was used to doing,preaching the word. But Jonah ran from God,of course we know there is no hiding place. I was so angry with God because I know and believe he can do anything,and I know there is nothing to hard for God. But he was not doing what I wanted nor was he doing it when I wanted,which of course is now. And I was angry for a long time,just pouting and saying stupid things,cursing I mean I had it bad. What God gave me from this book is,you have no reason to be angry about who I show mercy to. You know I’m a very merciful God,I’ve shown you great mercy and I have the right to show mercy to whom I will. Yep I was angry because of what I felt God was doing for others,and not for me. I was angry because I’ve always felt like the black sheep of my family,I was angry because it just looked like God is blessing everybody all around me,but I’m still driving the oldest and ugliest car.It got really bad,”but God” he came to me and let me know he understood and he loves me.God will continue to help me with my attitude and he will help you where ever you are in your walk. Through this book I learned God does not toss us aside he keeps right on working with us,and on us. And he used Jonah for the purpose he had in mind from the beginning,what a mighty God full of love and mercy for each of us. If you’re angry,alone feeling down and out just know that God showed up for Jonah and me,and he will show up for you. I found so much help in Coffman’s Commentary I’ve added a few of his writings.
10 The Lord said to him,
This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn’t do anything for it and you didn’t make it grow—yet you feel sorry for it!11 How much more, then, should I have pity on Nineveh, that great city. After all, it has more than 120,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!
- There was a terrible “loss of face” on Jonah’s part. His words concerning the restoration of Israel‘s cities (2 Kings 14:25) had been gloriously fulfilled; but now,His reputation as a prophet was irreparably damaged. He would be called a false prophet, a liar, a deceiver, and would be ridiculed and denounced for prophesying something which did not occur.F4
- It may very well be that Jonah was also aware of the prophetic implications of Nineveh‘s conversion, forecasting the ultimate rejection of Israel as God‘s people, and the coming of the Gentiles into that sphere of God’s favor, which until then was the sole prerogative of Israel. A true prophet of God (which Jonah surely was) could not have failed to read the dire implications for Israel in the astounding events he had just witnessed.
- Deep-seated prejudice and hatred of the Gentiles on the part of Jonah are also mentioned frequently as the cause of his anger; and there is little doubt of the truth of this. Jonah himself confessed that his flight to Tarshish in the first place had been prompted by his unwillingness to see Nineveh converted and spared.
- Jonah recognized that the sparing of Nineveh would ultimately result in the loss of Israel’s territory, the very territory which, following his prophecy, Jeroboam II had recovered for Israel. He also projected prosperity of Nineveh as a sign that God would ultimately use Assyria to punish Israel for their disobedience, a fact which Isaiah later pointed out (Isaiah 10:5). Thus, Jonah’s patriotism and love of his own country could have been at the root of his anger. The Jews of Jonah’s time, “could only see God’s kingdom being established by the overthrow of the kingdom of the world,”F5 a misunderstanding that persisted and finally resulted in their rejection of the Christ himself. In fact, one of the shameful and destructive influences on earth till this day is the savage, malignant, and carnal patriotism which equated love of one’s own nation with the hatred of every other nation.
- Love in Christ Pat