January 7

Jonah 4:2-4 2He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

A great fish swallowed Jonah. For three days and nights he survived in this fish's belly. It was a foreshadowing of Jesus' three days in the grave. Then God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah up on the shore. God gave Jonah a second chance to obey. He did.

He walked through the city proclaiming, "Forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed!" Everyone, including the king, repented with sackcloth and fasting. God saw their repentant hearts and did not send judgment. That greatly disappointed Jonah. He wanted to see his word come to pass. He told God that was one reason he didn't want to go in the first place. He knew God would be merciful.

In his pouting state Jonah decided he should just die. He felt he couldn't live with God, yet he couldn't live without Him. He just won't do what you want Him to do! In this matter, Jonah was at fault because he did not have God's heart for the people. He was not gracious and compassionate toward non-Jews, like God is. God asks Jonah a question that He often asks us, "Have you any right to be angry?" Well? Think about it!

To illustrate the point, God caused a vine to grow up quickly and shade Jonah from the heat of the sun. Jonah was very glad. The next morning God caused a worm to kill the vine. Jonah was upset that the vine died. Here is the lesson for us all. We are often upset about little things that affect our comfort. Should we not share God's concern about the thousands of lost souls?

Consider: Are you praying for the souls that need Him in nations that are enemies of your country? The LORD wants to share His heart for them with you.