The News and Jonah

For more than a week I’ve been listening to the news reports about the Boston marathon bombing and the horrific fire/explosion in West, Texas. I can get almost paralyzed by events like these, combined with the shock of the extent of how far the enemy will reach to destroy. Then there’s the blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts…

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And the Lord brought Jonah to mind.

Huh?

Jonah. The guy swallowed up in a big fish.

Why?
(Stay with me–I’ll get there, I promise)

For a moment, my mind went blank. So I started to read ….and my mind put this together.

The Lord told Jonah to go preach to the Ninevites. Jonah said no. He didn’t like the Ninevites, he grew up hating the Assyrians and fearing their atrocities. They were known throughout the region for exploiting the helpless, idolatry, prostitution, witchcraft and cruelty in war. His hatred was so strong, he didn’t think they ‘deserved’ to hear the message of God’s grace. So he left, jumped on a ship for Tarshish. (Jonah 1:1-3 NIV)

Jonah, with his “I don’t care what God says” attitude, boards a ship and falls into a deep sleep, in the middle of a violent storm. (Jonah 1:4-5) The captain and other men on the ship begged Jonah to tell them what to do. When Jonah finally told them to throw him overboard, the men did their best to row back to shore, so they wouldn’t have to harm Jonah. The sea became rougher still. The men on the ship asked God for forgiveness for sacrificing Jonah’s life. Finally, they threw him overboard and the sea became calm. But Jonah didn’t die. God sent a fish to swallow Jonah and keep him alive while God dealt with him.

Chapter 2 is Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish. He was simply grateful he had not died. As a prophet, he knew he neglected his responsibility of total obedience to God.

Chapter 3 tells of Jonah finally going to Nineveh, proclaiming the message God gave him for that city. The king heard, issued a decree, and the people turned from their wicked ways. God saw, and had compassion on them. God did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.

So Jonah should have been ecstatic, right?

Chapter 4 opens with “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.”
Jonah knew God was compassionate and loving, but he still didn’t think the Ninevites deserved God’s compassion. But God asked him, “Have you any right to be angry?”.

Jonah’s answer? He ran away to sulk.

God provided a vine to grow up over where Jonah lay, to give shade and ease his discomfort. Jonah was happy about the vine. The next day, God sent a worm to destroy the vine. Between the scorching wind and the blazing sun, Jonah wanted to die, again.

(verse 9)”But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”

And Jonah replied, “I do. I am angry enough to die.”

“But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (Jonah 4:10,11 NIV)

Jonah was angry about the withering of the vine, but not concerned about what would have happened to the people of Nineveh. Jonah wanted God to have compassion on him, but not on the Ninevites, because, in his opinion, they didn’t deserve it…

As I watch the news, I see the face of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I see his family members, as well as innocent victims of the bombing, and the explosions in Texas.

Jesus died for them too.

Tell me–who are your Ninevites?

About Cyn

Cyn Rogalski is a daughter of the Most High God. A prayer warrior, artist, speaker and writer, the work of her hands is meant to draw you to Jesus. Want me to speak at your next retreat, service or gathering? Contact me by leaving a comment below.
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8 Responses to The News and Jonah

  1. That is a great reminder for a tough subject. Kind of cracking the Jonah in me. Thanks!

    • Cyn says:

      Thanks for stopping by Marcia. I had a “Nineveh” experience of my own some years ago….and it affected my outlook tremendously. Have a great day! =Cyn-

  2. Carol Weeks says:

    Great analogy, Cyn. When stuff like this happens, the world is watching to see what the Christians will do, how we will react (or overreact)…

    • Cyn says:

      The enemy knows his time is short. We need to keep on keeping on with what we know to be true. God’s Word never changes. Thanks for stopping by Carol. -Cyn-

  3. Sue Badeau says:

    Cyn – we are so simpatico this week (as always)! Thank you for sharing – and what a great modern-day application of Jonah’s tale.

  4. Hello Cyn,

    I love to hear what you are thinking and praying about, because lately it seems we’re on the same wave length (I’ve just met you!)

    The Lord brought me to Jonah’s story recently, as well… I often get the same sense of paralysis when I think about how big this present darkness is. But God just laughs… it’s nothing to Him. I believe he’s got such marvelous plans for us, if we only quiet our souls, listen, and believe.

    I’d like to copy this quote by C.S. Lewis below… for I’m glad to have met you, Cyn! I love your spirit 🙂

    “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
    ― C.S. Lewis

    • Cyn says:

      Yes–isn’t God wonderful?
      He has such great timing…and we act so surprised each time. I’m glad I keep him laughing!
      And yes, I don’t think C.S. Lewis would mind at all…
      Thanks so much for stopping by Susan! -Cyn-

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