Jonah | Day Ten
By: Taylor Flatt
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Today we come to the end our journey with Jonah and even though it’s only been four chapters, it’s felt like a long one, hasn’t it? I mean we’ve watched as Jonah traveled to the depths of the sea and now we’re going to leave him sitting on a hillside, waiting to see what will become of Nineveh.
We pick up today with Jonah still frustrated at God’s mercy toward Nineveh. In fact, he’s actually sitting and hoping that something bad will come of them after all, in spite of God’s pardon.
But even in the midst of Jonah’s frustration, we still see God showing Himself to be the same as He’s always been - gracious, merciful, loving, and slow to anger.
Spend some extra time reflecting on the last few days before you jump into the reading.
Read Jonah 4:5-11.
Why do you think that Jonah left the city?
God has already relented from destroying the city. So why did Jonah want to watch from a distance? Unless he was hoping that maybe God would still destroy them, or at least punish them.
How do you think that the people of Nineveh would have treated Jonah while he was in Nineveh?
Judging by the way that the people submitted to his message, it seems pretty plausible that the people would have treated Jonah with reverence and kindness. It’s strange that Jonah remained outside the city. Surely the people of Nineveh had questions about this God that had been merciful to them.
In spite of Jonah’s bad attitude , how does God show Jonah grace?
Is anyone else feeling little exhausted with Jonah? If it were up to me, I’m not sure I would keep showing him grace the way that God does. But honestly, I think that’s the point.
We’re all a little tired of Jonah getting grace.
And Jonah’s definitely tired of Nineveh getting grace.
But God never gets tired of showing grace.
If you remember anything from this story, remember this: God won’t get tired of showing grace.
Earlier in this study we talked about the story that God was telling while Jonah was in the fish. The way that God was pointing to a future grave where the body of Christ would lay for three days and three nights. God sent His Son to that grave because of this very reason - He never gets tired of showing us grace. He thinks that we are worth it.
Read Jonah 4:10-11 again.
Jonah has gotten mad, mad enough to die himself when the plant dies. How does God respond to Jonah’s anger in these verses?
God explained to Jonah that He loves Nineveh because He created Nineveh. He labored over them and made them to grow (unlike Jonah and his beloved plant).
Here’s the crucial part - He created you too. Just like we read in Psalm 139, God knit you together. He labored over you. And because of that, He loves you.
God didn’t love Nineveh because of what they had done in the past. God didn’t love Nineveh because they repented. God loved Nineveh because they were His creation. He breathed life into each of them, and when they begged their Creator for mercy, He listened.
And because of God’s words to Jonah in the final verses of this story, here’s what I know to be true. God’s love for me isn’t about what I’ve done. He created me and therefore He loves me. He created me and therefore He shows me grace simply because I am His creation.
God’s love isn’t based on anything that you’ve done or anything that you will do. His love is based on who you are - His creation.
What a beautiful ending! God never gets tired of showing us grace because no matter how far we run we can’t outrun the fact that we are His creation.
Take some time to reflect on that today.
Have you been trying to earn God’s grace? How does this change your perspective?
Thank God today that you are His. Praise Him for creating you and breathing life into your lungs and love into your heart.
He’s going to keep pursuing you every single day for the rest of your life. Pursue Him too. Run toward Him.
He’s waiting for you with grace, mercy, and steadfast love.