Jonah 1:1-2

“The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

Observation-What does it say?

Jonah gets instructions from God to go to the city of Nineveh and to tell them that God’s wrath is out to destroy them because of their sinfulness. This makes Jonah anxious because Nineveh is Israel’s enemy.  I mean, who wants the task of going to your enemy’s home turf, tell them that they are a bunch of wicked and sinful people, and that God is going to destroy them all because of it? Needless to say, Jonah tries to flee from this task that God has given him. He then boards a ship to try to “hide” and “run” from God. He gets thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish. Jonah, while inside the fish’s belly, prays to God.  God hears Jonah’s prayers and then has the fish spit out Jonah onto dry land. God instructs Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and tell them what is coming for them. This time Jonah listens. The people of Nineveh get the news from Jonah, and believe him. So all the people and animals of the land wore sackcloth, began to fast, and the people turned away from their evil ways. When God saw this, He relented from bringing the destruction He had threatened. This angered Jonah. You see,  Nineveh was Israel’s enemies, and Jonah kinda wanted God to wipe them off of the face of the earth. But God chose otherwise. His grace chose to save and not destroy.

Understanding-What does it mean?

God’s love extends beyond Israel. His love is for all nations.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God desires for everyone to know Him and have a relationship with Him. He chose Jonah to partner with Him to save the people of Nineveh. He calls all His followers to go out into all the world and preach the gospel to ALL people. God’s love is for all who are willing to accept it. 

Now Jonah may have been angry with God’s decision to spare the people of Nineveh because of his own personal feelings against them, but it is God who has the final say. It is God who shows grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness to all those who believe in Him and repent from their sinful ways. 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭

Life Application

Today I choose to pray for those who oppose me or persecute me because of what I believe.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:43-45‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Heavenly Father, I pray for my enemies today. I pray for those who mock me for my beliefs. I pray for those who who put their faith and trust in false things and teachings. I pray that You may one day open their heart to the truth. Help me Lord to live a life in such a way that can point them to You. Give me opportunities to share with these people the Gospel. Please give me courage and strength to see it through. And Lord willing, when that time shall come, may You give me the words of truth to speak into their lives. I pray these things in Your name Jesus, Amen.

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-Moses Gaddi