More on my love of Jonah!

Jonah’s prayer and the story of his eventual obedience is a clear example of the nature of repentance; it is the change of one’s mind and way, and a return to the work that is expected on them. I want to look at the benefit of affliction; Affliction is the suffering that Jonah suffered by being thrown over board and the swallowed by the rather large fish for three days, affliction is the suffering that produces refinement. It is the experience of affliction that brings us back to the place we had deserted. It is through affliction that one experiences refinement and the overwhelming power of the Lord. The power of the Lord’s divine grace leave me speechless as I look at the fact that the nature of affliction would rather drive men from God, than draw them to him. God’s servants must go where He sends them, come when He calls them, and do what He bids them; we must do whatever the word of the Lord commands. And it is when we walk the other way that we face affliction. We can experience refinement or the feeling of being defeated while amidst affliction. It is only by the divine grace of the Lord that one returns to His feet, more refined and hopefully more in love with their Savior. As I come to the final chapter in the book, chapter four, and this is the one chapter that brings assurance of Jonah’s humanness. After watching Nineveh turn from evil and accept the ways of the Lord Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. It becomes clear through this chapter that Jonah was angry because the Lord had sparedNineveh. However, to Jonah’s credit, he does talk about this with God. It is obvious that Jonah knows the character of God. The underlining fact is that Jonah’s ego was hurt. His pride told him that it was better to die than to live with the supposed humiliation of either having given a prophetic word that was overturned or not seeing his enemies suffer as he had hoped they would. The irony of this verse is that Jonah is asking the Lord to kill him – the same the Lord who would not kill evil people who repented. Why would He destroy His prophet whom He loved very much and had used for a great work? Again, this is an illustration that I can go to the Lord with my deepest flaws. However, I must remember that when I do, He is likely to show me where I was wrong and how I must change.  It is obvious that Jonah was pouting because things were not going the way he wanted them to.  The Lord first came to Jonah and tried to reason with him. He basically asked if Jonah he had any justification for being angry that the Lord saved the Ninevites after they turned to Him. But to my surprise Jonah does not answer. Instead, he went outside the city to wait. Rather than admitting he was wrong and the Lord was right, he left the area the conversation was taking place. He ran away once again. In the midst of Jonah’s temper tantrum, it is safe to say thatNineveh was in a hot and dry area, because of the climate; Jonah built a shelter to sit in to be comfortable. Since Jonah was not in the mood to listen to the Lord, the Lord used an object lesson to help Jonah understand the problem with his uncompassionate way of thinking.

So my realizaton right now, is this, sometimes following the Lord is rather diffucult and full of temper tamtrums. Which I have had my fair share of temper tamtrums lately, but regardless, even is one would rather die than indure what is to come, the overwhleming confidence I have is that all things work for the good and glory of the Lord, and just as He met Jonah where he was at, the Lord will meet me, even in the midst of my temper tamtrums. I may not like where He is taking me, or what I am experiancing or the choices I have been lead to make, but I will step out in faith and rejoice at the thought of Nineveh recieving the good news of His lifechanging love.

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