JONAH AND THE GOD OF ALL PEOPLE

Jonah_the_Prophet

Jonah 4:1-3 (New Living Translation)

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the LORD about it: “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.”

Prophet Jonah was sent to preach to Nineveh, capital of Assyria, that their cup of wickedness was full; either they repent or face judgement from God. Assyria was a mighty country at that time similar to present day USA, or Germany, or China. Israel as a smaller neighbor feared Assyria, so the relationship between them was poor.

Nineveh was a great city, like New York, London or Paris; when they heard the message from Jonah, they were touched, and they all repented, including their King. God forgave them and the city was spared his judgement. What a happy outcome!

Not so for everyone though, Jonah became very angry, and said: 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.”

I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God – think about this…

This is a passage from the Old Testament half of the Bible; a passage from a narrative where God is extending his love and mercy to a gentile city, Nineveh. The God of the Bible is clearly not just a God of Israel, but a God of all people. Jonah saw this more than three thousand years ago; this merciful and compassionate God has not changed.

I pray your goals in 2018 include getting to know more of the God of the Bible, through studying the Bible a little more on a regular basis. Don’t be satisfied with my blog, or the word you hear from the pulpit, the radio or the TV, read the Bible a little more!

May the merciful and compassionate God of all people give you understanding and light as you study the Bible to get to know him a little more, Amen!

Read – Pray – Share!

 

Image: Jonah the Prophet By Sargis Babayan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32665853   

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