Friday, 20 May 2011


Jonah 4:1 – 11

1.  Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry.
2.  So he prayed, “LORD, didn't I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That's why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish.
3.  Now then, LORD, let me die. I am better off dead than alive."
4.  The LORD answered, "What right do you have to be angry?"
5.  Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh.
6.  Then the LORD God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant.
7.  But at dawn the next day, at God's command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died.
8.  After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead. "I am better off dead than alive," he said.
9.  But God said to him, "What right do you have to be angry about the plant?" Jonah replied, "I have every right to be angry---angry enough to die!"
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!"

So Jonah’s vacation dwellings aren’t the most desirable in the world!  Can you even imagine? He was definitely in a tight spot!  And tight spots are interesting, because they either make us bitter or better.  Think of it this way:  The same boiling water that hardens an egg softens a potato.  We always have a choice about our attitude!
The second chapter of Jonah begins with the fact that Jonah began praying.  But it wasn’t right when he was swallowed.  He waited until he truly felt he had no other choice.  Jonah waited for three days and three nights before he finally turned to God.
He must have been totally miserable!  What can on do inside the belly of a whale?  Untangle the intestines?  Sort through the menagerie of other things the whale has swallowed?
With seaweed wrapped around his head and fish slapping him in the face, Jonah sweated through a stifling 98.6 degree temperature inside the belly of that great fish.  And three days later, when he could absolutely not stand it any longer, he began to pray.
Can you identify with that?  Is it easy for you to wait until your back is against the wall before you turn to God?  Do you sometimes try all your options, working hard to fix the problem, and finally – when nothing else has worked – turn to your heavenly Father?
God heard his prayer.  The fish suddenly felt the urge to regurgitate, and Jonah was vomited onto the beach.  He might have felt that he had been going nowhere for the past three days and nights, but the whale was always moving.  And he moved right to the beach where God wanted Jonah all along.
Now we get to the part of the story where we see God as a God of second chances.  He didn’t give up on Jonah.  He had an incredible plan for an amazing revival in Nineveh, and He wanted to use Jonah to usher it in.  So God gave him a second chance.
Jonah obeyed this time, but he still had a rotten attitude.  Even though he shared the gospel with the Assyrians and told them to repent within 3 days or God would destroy them, he secretly wanted them destroyed.
God Bless!

(Susie Shellenberger)

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