Jonah 4:2-3New International Version (NIV)
2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Jonah knew God is gracious and compassionate. God wants to bring salvation of the Great City of Nineveh! Nineveh was the Capital City of Assyria; the city full of wickedness. Though Jonah was running away, his thoughts are little far more than the thoughts and ways of God. He was afraid that the Land might destroy him and our God. He considered Nineveh as the enemy not worthy to be saved or impossible to change. However God has a great heart because it turns out God has a great heart for the Great City. Jonah is quoting here the famous confession of God’s identity in the history of Israel, when God revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai. God’s love manifests itself in his accessibility to all, regardless of our reputation, nationality and race. His Grace doesn’t reach only to Israelites but to everyone.
- Jonah is really ” the patron saint of refused calling”
- He calls, then one called resist for one reason or another and then there is a decision.
- Bible is God’s Story.
- Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. Assyria was the great world power. ” The City of Blood” as per Nahum.
- Tarshish had a great wealth. It was pioneer in trade commerce over the sea was kind of like new technology and making some people rich.
- He converted the sailors ” Mass Gentile conversion” Pagan boat becomes a place of worship.
- Jonah was inside the fist for 3 days and 3 nights.
- Priest- served in the temple , offered sacrifices , they led worship
- Prophet- A reformer, activist- kind of trouble maker pricking people’s conscience.
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
“GOD IS GOD OF THE OPE DOORS…
“He opens doors all around, boundless opportunities to contribute to humanity in ways large and small, to make our lives count for eternity….”