Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (KJV)
Where do we get the right to be angry over God wanting to spare someone's life?
Song: King Jesus Will Roll All Your Burdens Away
by Kenneth Morris 1947
Pianist: Late Mrs. Loretta Ray
Singer: Marsha Singleton
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“The Love Of God”
Welcome to the Inspired Word of God, my name is Marsha.
I would like to focus on Jonah today. Not the story behind him spending three days and three nights in the whale's belly or the great storm that came up because he ran from God because these things did happen.
But I want to focus on why he had to go through it in the first place. He had to go through it because the Lord called on him to accomplish a mission. And that mission was to go and tell a nation of people about their wickedness, and about the doom that God was going to bring to them. Because of it.
He wanted this nation of people to turn their life around and stop with the sin. But Jonah didn't want that for them. He didn't want them to be redeemed. He wanted them to be to be destroyed by the Lord.
So instead of going and doing what God told him to do, he went the opposite direction and ran. And of course, he got on a ship stowed away. And we know that a great storm came up on that ship. Because Jonah was hiding on it. And he had to admit to the captain, why they were in turmoil on that ship. It was because of him. Because his God was after him. And we know the story.
They threw him overboard, because he said, you want it to go away. You're gonna have to throw me overboard, and they did.
And God call on our whale to swallow him. And he had to spend three days and three nights in the belly of that well. And only going through that, ordeal Did he come to his senses and call upon God in prayer. And God heard him and caused the whale to vomit him out on land.
Now, when you hear these stories, some people are like, you really believe that? But we're talking about the miracles of God and we are talking about a sovereign God who has all power and he can do what he wants to do. Yes, I believe that.
But the focus is on Jonah, and why he chose to be disobedient to God in the first place. Just because he didn't want a nation of people to be saved. And I think my focus is on his if attitude, because we sometimes feel that way. We look at people and we see that they don't change, they stay the same year after year, for decades. And we know them to be a rotten person, and we don't like them. So we don't want to see them saved. And we passed that judgment on him.
But we want to be saved. We were not always great and perfect and walked the right way. And we want to be saved. And when we get into trouble we call on God and we want him to hear us. So why can't we do that? For the person that he has pointed in our path to deliver a message to them?
And that's what Jonah had going on in his life. placed a message on his heart to take to these people. And he didn't want he didn't want to pass on that message. He didn't want to see them saved.
Being in the belly of this well for that time period. He comes to his senses. And he does pray and ask God. So during this prayer, it sounds like He not only comes to his senses, but he's ready to obey. He understands and everything's fine. I am paraphrasing, So I'm going to read it also.
in Jonah 2:7-9King James Version, and I'm going to read it from the Life Application version also do you're not confused by what he says.
Jon 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Jon 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Jon 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
But now I'm going to read it again in the Life Application:
Jonah 2:7-10 when my life was ebbing away, I remembered, Lord, and my prayer rose to you to your holy temple. Those who claim to work with idols forfeit the grace that could be there. But I with a song of Thanksgiving or sacrifice to you what I have found I will make good salvation comes from the Lord. And the Lord commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
So we think, okay everything is good and it's resolved, and he's going to be obedient. And he is obedient because he does go to Nineveh because God tells him, I'm going to tell you what to say to them and I need you to go give them this message.
So he does go to Nineveh and he does give them the message. But it's kind of like him spending three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, still did not teach him a lesson.
It brought him to his senses so he would be obedient to what God told him to do. But as we read further, he really wants to carry his own judgment against Nineveh.
Jonah 3:1-5one through five reads like this:
Jon 3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
Jon 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
Jon 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.(KJV)
So it only took him going in there and saying something on day one, and they listened. But how many times do we hear something that the Lord lays upon our heart, or he will put a word in someone to deliver to us, telling us to turn our ways around, to repent, to stop doing something but we keep doing it and we ignore him? It only took a day for him to walk through there and tell them that their their city would be overthrown. And they listened.
Jon 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
Jon 3:7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
Jon 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Yes, God sent this message that he was going to destroy them. But the king had good enough sense to look at God, having compassion, and possibly not destroying them, if they would turn from their evil ways.
If they would turn their behavior around and do the right thing. And they did turn their behavior around. God saw the compassion God saw the truth in their ways. They were evil, but they turned it around. They fasted and they put on a humble spirit, because they wanted to change.
And God recognized that and he spared them. So Jonah was obedient after all. After going through all of his trauma, he was obedient, and he delivered the message. And the mission was completed successfully, because Nineveh repented of their ways, and they were saved.
But Jonah was angry. He didn't want them to be saved. So he sat outside the city. And he was telling the Lord, that He didn't want to do it, because he knew that God would have compassion and save them.
He was sitting out in the sun and it was hot and the Lord grew a gourd over him to give him shade and give him comfort. And the next day when he woke up, the gourd was gone, because God brought a worm to eat the gourd.Jonah felt bad that the gourd was gone. And God's looking at him like, you have compassion for a gourd that has been eaten, and you had nothing to do with creating it.
But yet you can't have compassion for 1000s of people in turning away from their wickedness and I am paraphrasing here, but I'm going to read it to you also. Jonah 4:1-10But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the Lord. Oh Lord, is this not what I said? When I was still at home?
That is why I was so quick to flee to tarnish. I knew that you are gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who invents from sending calamity now or take away my life, As for it is better for me to die than to live but the Lord replied, have you any right to be angry? went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give him shade for his head to ease his discomfort. And Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn, the next day God provided a worm which to the vine so that it withered.
When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind and 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. Then God said to Jonah, do you have a right to be angry about the vine? I do. He said, I am angry enough to die.
But the Lord said, you have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tended or make it grow. It's sprang up overnight and died overnight. But none of our has more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from the left and many cattle as well should I not be concerned about that great city?
In the King James Version, I'm reading Jonah for 10 and 11.
Jon 4:10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:Jon 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and alsomuch cattle?
When he is talking about they can't discern from the right hand to the left hand. I'm looking at a people who were we're living a wicked life living in evilness doing wrong, paganistic stuff. But if they didn't have a discernment to know that they were living wrong, because they hadn't heard the word yet that haven't they know.
We always look at people and say, well they know right from wrong. Or generally people do know right from wrong, but you have a lot of people in places in this world who were born and raised a certain way. And that's the way they know. And they don't know right from wrong.
They can't discern it, because they haven't heard God's Word. To know. And God was bringing his work to people and then once they heard it, they immediately turned from what they were doing themselves and they fasted to make that change in their life.
And we're talking from the King all the way down to the person who is least important in the city. But it was a decree that went out that they all do it in Unity.
You would be amazed at the things that happen. When people work in Unity. These people were turning their lives around in unity-to save their lives. But how much more can we accomplish in life if we work in Unity together? And not fight each other? And Jonah, in chapter four, what we read, He was still angry. He was I would call sulking, he was sulking and he was angry, because God had compassion on those people.
Yet he wanted God to have compassion on him when he was in that whale's belly. And sometimes we're like that. We definitely want the compassion of God and we want the help of God for us, or our loved one.
But when we see somebody else out there, we say they know right from wrong, they should know right from wrong, they should know better, and maybe they should. But that doesn't mean that we can't pray for them. It doesn't mean that we give up on them.
I would say in our present day. There's a lot of people who have heard the gospel, but then there's a lot of people who haven't, because there's a lot of persecution in this world against Christians. So not everybody has heard the word. There's many different situations out there, all over this world as to why a person chooses to live or they continue to live like they do.
So the Lord places a word on your heart just be obedient and go and deliver that word because that's how he chooses for them That's how he chooses to give them that opportunity to turn their life around. And if he doesn't lay a word on your heart, but you see something that makes you mad, or frustrated you take it to God and prayer and pray for that person or those people.
Because he does hear our prayers. And it may not be you that he sends to give them that word, but he will ensure that they get that word because he wants us to live for him. We can be frustrated with people and how they live. But what gives us the right why are we being judgmental because we don't want someone to do that to us. And I hope that we can think about that the next time we look at someone the wrong way. Or we look at them and say they're never going to change.
I've been there myself. I've said that about people are never going to change. But then I recognize I changed because of God. And if I can change so can they. He didn't put a word on my heart to give to them. But I know my prayers will go a mighty long way. And your prayers will go a mighty long way too.
So I pray, Lord, help us to have compassion on those that we tend to be frustrated with that we tend to hold anger in our hearts that because we look at them as knowing better.
And they should want to try to do better. I ask that you open our hearts to understanding and just prompt us to pray the right way for that individual or that group of people and let us be consistent and our prayer for them and let us have love in our heart for them.
And let us focus on those things that they do not understand that out to they do not know about to open their heart to receive it. Remove the scales from their eyes, so they have an understanding of your word and let it seep into their spirit and their heart so that they can change their way of living.
And let us check ourself and not be judgmental but focus on what we can do ourselves in our own heart and spirit. So that we remain compliant with you and in alignment with you as we want them to be. In Jesus name. Amen.