When the Ninevites respond with repentance and fasting, Jonah reacts with anger rather than rejoicing, because he resents God’s willingness to show mercy to his enemies. The Lord teaches Jonah a lesson on compassion by using a vine as an object lesson.
We typically want God to treat us with grace and to treat our enemies with justice. Jonah is the story of a man who resisted God’s call to prophesy to the capital city of Israel’s archenemy, Assyria. He was afraid that if he prophesied to the people of Nineveh, they would repent and God would avert the disaster that was due to come in 40 days. This little book teaches us about the folly of resenting the grace of God when it is extended to people we think should not receive it. We can be thankful that God’s mercy moves beyond national borders.
READING of JONAH 4
Lord, Your intentions extend beyond our personal borders since You are the ruler not only of nature, but also of all nations. May I never allow my personal bias to stand between me and Your purposes.
Meditation passage for today: verses 2, 10-11
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