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Category Archives: Jonah

Jonah 4:1-4

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.” The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”
Jonah 4:1-4

Dear God, ah, the part of the story no one ever tells. Jesus actually told at least two parables that I can think of off of the top of my head that describe Jonah here. One is the parable of the workers who were hired at different times during the day, and the other is how Jesus describes the older son in the Prodigal Son parable. I’m sure if I were to think about it more I could think of other instances in scripture that describe a similar frustration with your mercy.

I used to know a Muslim who had a hard time accepting Christianity because it taught a mercy that was too easy and not earned—at least not earned enough beyond asking for it. Now, as I sit here and think about it, I wonder if this repeated message of the “good” person who cannot extend mercy is meant for me too. Is there any part of your mercy I resent you giving to someone? Is there a part of me that withholds telling someone about you because I don’t think they deserve to find you and have you redeem them?

Father, I can’t think of anyone right now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a blindness to my own judgmental attitude towards others. So please open my eyes so I can see open my ears so I can hear. Open my heart so I can forgive and love.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2021 in Jonah

 

Jonah 3:1-10

Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.” When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah 3:1-10

Dear God, fasting is an interesting thing. I was thinking about it a couple of days ago in terms of praying for a breakthrough on something in my life. I decided I had been negligent in sacrificing in that way as I prayed so I decided to take yesterday and give up something that has become important to me and a big part of my day. It wasn’t food, but it was definitely a sacrifice. In fact, I even found myself starting to use the thing a few times just on autopilot, but I would quickly stop and then use that moment to talk to you about the issue on my heart. I can’t say that it at all changed how you might be answering the prayers I’ve prayed, but I do think it was important for my own soul and attitude towards this issue, not to mention opening my eyes to how dependent I’ve become on the thing I gave up. In fact, I think I will continue fasting from this thing today as well.

Father, fasting is another example of denying myself—dying to myself—taking up my cross and following you. You know what’s on my heart. You know the pain. In fact, there’s nothing I’m experiencing that you haven’t experienced. Either through your own existence or through Jesus’s experience on earth. You are the God who knows me. Please comfort me as I patiently, faithfully, and hopefully wait for your plan to materialize in your good time.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2021 in Jonah