January 20, 2014 by lellielieb
The reading for today included the entire book of Jonah. Even though that sounds like a lot, in my Bible it takes up less than two pages. It’s short, but it’s powerful. A few things struck me as I read.
1. Some striking contrasts: Jonah was called and ran. Jesus was sent and He came. Jonah didn’t want to go because he knew Nineveh would repent. Jesus knew Israel would reject and kill Him, but came anyway. Jonah calmed the sea by having the sailors throw him in. Jesus calmed the sea with his voice. Jonah cried over a plant. Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
2. Jonah reminds me of myself. Jonah wanted JUSTICE. Justice sounds like a good thing. Jonah knew the evil of Nineveh. (I teach history so I know; they were REALLY bad.) The Assyrians were a threat to Jonah’s home and life. They deserved God’s wrath. They should die and then Jonah and Israel could live happily ever-after. Jonah feared God’s grace and mercy. Grace and mercy didn’t fit into his personal plan. I’ve been there. The memory makes me shudder. Jonah forgot that all of us need God’s grace and mercy.
3. God speaks to fish. He’s in control. Period.
4. Jonah’s mourned the plant because it served his purposes. Its value for him was in its utility. I need to think about this one some more.
4. In spite of Jonah’s behavior, God took the time to teach him a lesson. God loved Jonah anyway. God loved Jonah enough to make him uncomfortable. He loves me, too. Hallelujah!