Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jonah-Why Did God Have to Spare The Ninevites?

By Mary Vee
Jonah 4

From the Sweaty Journals of Jonah



The king and all of the people of Nineveh repented of their evil ways. 

This might sound like something good to you, but for me it didn't. Imagine the worse bully at your school or work. They pick on you every day and threaten to one day squash you in front of everyone. That is what the Ninevites were like to those of us living in Israel. 

We were afraid of the great armies of Nineveh and wanted God to crush them.

My heart saddened. No--my heat grew red hot with anger as I witnessed every single citizen dressed in sackcloth and crying out to God for mercy and forgiveness. 

I walked to a place where I could be alone and cried out to God. "O Lord, isn't this what I said would happen when I was still at home? Didn't I say you would forgive this evil people? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew all along that you are a gracious and compassionate God. That you are slow to anger and abounding in love. And that you are a God who yields from sending calamity when people obey you." 

I sighed and closed my eyes. I couldn't bear to look at this city any more. I sat in the street and wrapped my arms around my head. "Now, O Lord, take away my life. It is better for me to die than to live."  

A tear blurred my eye. I covered my ears to stop the prayers from the people from reaching me. 

In the din filling the air, God spoke to me. "Have you any right to be angry?"

I thought I did. 

I stood. There was nothing left for me to do here. The damage had been done. God chose to save the horrid Ninevites. I walked outside the city gates and turned to the east. Maybe if I left the city walls God would change His mind and destroy the city after all. I laughed to myself.  Yes. Maybe that was what God was waiting for.

I made a simple shelter to block the hot sun and sat down in it. Now, I will wait to see what happens. God couldn't possible forgive people as evil as the Ninevites.

Come back next time to see what happens.

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1. What had the people of Nineveh done?
2. What did Jonah compare the people of Nineveh to?
3. What made Jonah's heart sad--angry?
4. What did Jonah cry out to God?
5. Jonah was so very angry. What did God say to him?
6. Where did Jonah go?
7. What did he want to do there?

Bonus question: Is it any different for God to forgive a Ninevite person from someone who is mostly good?

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