Friday, March 28, 2014

She Reads Truth - Jonah 3 & 4

Today I'm linking up with She Reads Truth for She Shares Truth. We have been studying Jonah and I'm going to share my thoughts on Jonah 3 & 4.

So many people think that Jonah's story ends when he was spewed out of a whale but I think that is just a minor part of the story. After that, God gave Jonah a second chance. This time when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh he obeyed. I probably would too!
Jonah obeyed God immediately this second time and delivered his message. The Ninevites immediately believed God and responded immediately. It doesn't matter that it took Jonah two tries to obey God's command, the Ninevites still receive the message. It doesn't take them two tries to hear and obey though. They obey immediately.

When the king of Nineveh heard God's message he told everyone to turn from their ways and to fast and wear sackcloth-to mourn-to pray-to cry out to God. Why? Who knows?! Maybe God will save us from death! Why not obey God and leave our old life behind? You never know, He might save you from death! God's compassion never fails.

Jonah 3:8-9 (NIV) "But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

Sure enough, "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."(Jonah 3:10)

When we obey God and turn to him instead of ourselves He will save us. That is a promise!

Unfortunately Jonah still had some things he needed to learn. Just like me! Those Ninevites should not be saved! Why should, why would God save those people? Doesn't he know what they have done? Why would God bless that person and not me? 
But the Lord replied, "Have you any right to be angry?" Jonah 4:4
Do we have any right to be angry about God's grace? Especially if we have seen and received his grace firsthand, we should want everyone to experience His grace. His grace is for all who want it.

God reminds Jonah, these people mourned their sinful ways and set out to change immediately after hearing that they would die if they continued living their way. Without any questions or fighting or (gasp!) running away, they mourned their ways, and immediately begged God to save them. 
God saved Jonah too when he prayed inside the fish. God saved me when I prayed in my time of need. God longs to save each and every person he created. Even if we think we don't deserve to be saved, God does.

Psalm 103:8  
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.

Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.

Lamentations 3:21-23
Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.