Lessons From Jonah: A God Who Cares

Jonah 4:10-11
10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which [c]came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
I came across a story online of a woman who left all her inheritance amounting to millions of dollars to her dog. I thought that was pretty strange, but apparently there are quite numerous stories of people who have left millions of dollars to their pets. They cared more about pets than the people in their lives.
Jonah had no concern for the people of Nineveh. He was so angry that after he delivered God’s message to them, they repented and God forgave them. He was so angry that he wanted to die.
As Jonah was sitting on the east side of the city to see what would happen to it, God cased a plant to grow and give him shade, and Jonah was genuinely grateful for that. The next day, God caused a worm to eat the plant, and it withered and Jonah was not happy at all. It was at this point that he wished to die. Through this powerful illustration, God shows Jonah how his priorities are mixed up, and we too can learn a lesson or two from this. Jonah was more concerned about the plant than the people of Nineveh.
Jesus summed up the law by simplifying it to loving God with all our hearts mind and soul and loving our neighbour as ourselves. We live in a world today where we care more about things than people. We go to great lengths to protect and save things, while we ignore a fellow brother or sister who is wallowing in poverty and sickness.
God is a merciful God, not just to you, but also to those people whom you think don’t deserve his love. Nineveh was a city of more than 120 thousand people. God describes them as people who cannot discern between their right hand and left. God had pity on them, the same way he had pity on Jonah when he disobeyed and cried out for mercy from the belly of a fish.
God cares for people more than anything. Christ died for people because it is only humans out of all of God’s creation that are created in God’s image and likeness.
As Brandon Heath says in his song “Give me your eyes”
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missin’
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Reflections
What are some of the things you have valued more than people?
Who is one individual you come across almost daily, but you never interact with that you can show God’s kindness to today?
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