Marianne’s Notes: Jonah 4

Wrapped up Jonah today…Chapter 4 is full of lessons for us as Christ followers!  Once Jonah saw the tenderness of God towards the repentant Ninevites he was angry.  He told God, “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish!  I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  You are eager to turn back from destroying people.  Just kill me now, Lord, I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”  God answers with a simple convicting question, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”  God doesn’t tell Jonah all the reason he is wrong or pull the “I’m God” card…He gently asks is it right for you to be angry?  Sometimes God is at work (perhaps in our country right now) but we are so blinded by our own experiences and expectations of “justice” that when God acts mercifully to save and to restore we are bitter and resentful yet it’s the gift He gave us to which we are deeply thankful for.  Self-righteousness comes when we forget we are equal sinners to those we hate or despise.  I am them.  I am one of them.  I am called to serve them not ask for God to wipe them off the face of the earth by quoting some scripture.  God’s always for preserving life.  Always.  Why?  Because it’s a chance at redemption! We all deserve death but we were given a chance at redemption!  God sent Jesus to give “all men” a chance at redemption.  Who am I not to grieve if that chance is lost for another?!  I believe this is the heart I must have in order to truly “weep with those who weep” and to come bearing HOPE in order to “bind up the brokenhearted.”  Jonah missed this completely.  This also shows me that sometimes I miss God’s greater story in my life.  I can be used by God in a miraculous way and because of my own heart miss the miracle.  Jonah left to pout; God grew a plant outside his shelter to keep him shaded and to bring him relief from the blazing sun.  Jonah was relieved.  The next morning God sent a worm to eat through its root and the plant died.  God sent a scorching sun which left Jonah so hot “death is certainly better than living like this!”  God asks him again “is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”  Jonah misses the point again and says, “Yes, even angry enough to die!”  The final recorded word to Jonah from God was “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there.  It came quickly and died quickly.  But in Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals.  Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”  This is the perspective of God…we cry over endangered forests but not endangered babies.  We don’t weep or rejoice fully at the work that God is doing when we “don’t agree” with the principle of the people being saved.  For example, I’m hearing amazing reports from believers who are doing baptisms inside CHOP…we should be REJOICING at this news!!  Salvations!! Changed lives!!  But because we don’t “agree” with the destruction, their method of occupying, and their ideology we complain to God about “not doing something” to fix this issue.  He IS doing something!  He’s doing something through people who are looking past the pouting and offering to serve them in love then with the truth of the gospel.  Which side will we be on?  Which side will I be on?  Marianne you have been crucified.  You are Christs…do HIS work, not your own…He has plans of redemption here.

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