DON’T BE A JONAH!
Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” —Jonah 4:6-8
The Lord God provided:
-a message for Jonah to preach
-a storm to redirect him
-a fish to swallow him to bring him to obedience
-a ride by the fish to the shore where the Lord wanted him
-a repentance to a whole city
-a leafy plant and He made it grow
-a worm that cause the plant to wither
-a scorching east wind to blaze on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint and wanted to die.
-a challenge to Jonah that he was more concerned about one plant than a multitude of people
Jonah had just seen an entire massive city repent and turn to the Lord. But, he was not happy about it. Instead, he went out on a hill overlooking the city and was waiting for the judgment of God to fall on the city as he had preached. His message that God sent him to give was “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). Jonah was just waiting for the fire from Heaven to fall upon these wicked enemies. Instead of the Ninevites rejecting the message they all believed the message and God’s hand of judgment was stayed. Amazing that Jonah was angry with God for not judging these repentant people.
Look at all that God did in this historical narrative and what He says to us. He gave Jonah the message to speak and God has given us His Word to speak. God sent a storm to redirect Jonah and He does the same today to redirect us at times. God caused a fish to swallow Jonah to captivate him until he had an obedient heart and God can captivate us today to change our hearts. Just as God supernaturally guided a fish to spew Jonah up where He wanted him, so also God can use creation to bring us to where He wants us. When Jonah preached the message that God gave him a whole city repented and when we preach God’s Word He will use it to accomplish His will through us was well. God provided a leafy plant to bring Jonah comfort and God gives us comfort as well. But then God caused the plant to wither and bring a scorching wind that to cause Jonah to be uncomfortable to the point of wanting to die. Jonah was rebuked by God for caring more about a single plant that made him comfortable than about people who were in danger of perishing and the challenge to us is—
Do we care more about being comfortable than about the people all around us that are in danger of perishing that need to hear the message of repentance?
Dear Father, please help me, help us, to be more caring about those in danger of perishing than of our own comfortableness. Oh, that this would be true by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI