Jonah 4:2 CEB
Common English Bible (CEB)
2 He prayed to the Lord, “Come on, Lord! Wasn’t this precisely my point when I was back in my own land? This is why I fled to Tarshish earlier! I know that you are a merciful and compassionate God, very patient, full of faithful love, and willing not to destroy.
In Whom we have our redemption through His Blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins. [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation, for it was in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere are held together). He is also the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be Preeminent] for it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the Divine Perfection, powers and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [The Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross. (Col 1:13-20 Amp).
Lord as we carry on with this study of Jonah, give us an understanding, willing heart. Show us the greatness of Your Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, Love & Salvation. For we know it is Your will for all men & women, everywhere to be saved, spared from destruction, to experience Life Eternal.
You desire salvation, for all who diligently seek You; with all their heart. When they call upon Your Name, they shall be saved. For Lord, You became sin for us, so we are able to become God’s Righteousness, in & through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Merciful & Compassionate
Now after our Lord saw how Nineveh, turned, He showed them His Mercy. He shared with them His Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness. He spared them from their destructions. For they were heading towards the bottomless pit, of despair and of destruction. This would lead to their final surmise.
This would’ve meant the death of their city. They would have no remembrance, of their existence. Nineveh would be destroyed, because of their wickedness. They did evil in the sight of God. Yet when God sent His prophet to them, they repented in sackcloth and ashes.
The Lord saw their heart, showing them His great mercy. During this time when Jonah was sent to Nineveh, she repented, turning from her wickedness. The Lord heard them, He heard their cry, then answered and spared them from their destruction. Although at a later time when they had a new king, who had not known of this incident, Nineveh was destroyed.
Other than with Sodom and Gomorrah, during Abraham’s day, whom were destroyed because of their wickedness. Nineveh had received God’s Mercy and Compassion. This greatly displeased the watchman, who wanted to see judgement on Nineveh.
Often like Jonah, we desire to see justice take place. There is nothing wrong with it, yet we are to be able to see the situation through the eyes of a Loving, Gracious, Merciful, Compassionate God. He first loved us when we were still sinners. He gave of Himself. Through His great Love for us, He made a way of escape from sin’s destruction.
Earlier in scripture we come across Moses, whom the Lord raised up to deliver Israel. We find out that our Lord revealed Himself to His servant; as Gracious and Compassionate, showing Mercy to whom He shows Mercy.
The Lord Reveals
And God said, I will make all My Goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim My Name, THE LORD, before you, for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy and lovingkindness on whom I will show mercy and loving kindness. (Ex 33:19 Amp).
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, Merciful and Gracious, Longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth keeping Mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the childrens children to the third and the fourth generation.” So Moses, made haste and bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray go among us, even though we are a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin and take us as Your inheritance.” (Exod 34:5-9).
Jonah, we understand was the son of Amittai brought up, out of, from Gath Hepher. The Lord called, anointed him as a prophet,therefore he would know God’s character. He would have known God is merciful, gracious, & forgiving. Therefore when the Lord gave him the instructions to go toward Nineveh, he was not willing, to go.
We see him speaking to the Lord, acknowledging God’s Grace and His Mercy. He made his feelings; emotions known to God. Our Lord wants us to be real with Him. He desires fellowship with us. We are not able to, hide our feelings, emotions or thoughts from God. Remember He created us in His image. He knew of us even before we were born.
He knows all our days; even the number of all our days are known by Him. Yes even the number of our hairs are known by Him. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Mt 10:30 Amp).
But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows. (Lk 12:7 Amp) Towards the end of this scripture, we see and find out how and why the Lord showed mercy toward Nineveh, her people and their animals.
Although Jonah, became angry with God, the Lord still showed him grace, mercy and he experiencing God’s compassion, was restored. Even as when He restored, reinstated Simon Peter (see Jn 21:15-22). Therefore the Lord revealed Himself, His Grace and Mercy; toward Jonah and toward Nineveh.
We are reminded in Lamentations, the Lord’s compassions are new every morning and they do not fail. We see the greatness of His faithfulness. (see Lam 3:19- 25). Because Nineveh sought the for His grace, mercy and forgiveness, repented with sackcloth and ashes, the Lord spared them.
When we who are called by His Name, humble ourselves; pray, seek, crave, and require out of necessity the Lord’s Face; turning from our wicked ways; the Lord will hear us, from out of heaven, forgive our sin and He shall heal our land (see 2Chron 7:14 amp).
You see; when we earnestly seek the Lord, in all spirit and truth; He is sure to hear from heaven, He shall be found by us. Seek the Lord with all your heart, and you shall find Him. He is not far from us, or in the distance somewhere, where He cannot be found.
Therefore the hit song, “From a Distance; ” which made all the worlds top music charts, years ago; is incorrect! I have reason to say that they were duced, mislead even wrongly taught. The scripture tells us God is near us, even in our mouth and our heart.
But what does it say?”The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. for the scripture says, “whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, (ie Jew and Gentile)’ for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be Saved. ” (Rom 10:8-13 NKJ).
Because Nineveh called on the Name of the Lord, her king, her people, her cattle were all saved. On hearing the voice of one lone prophet crying out in the streets: “Yet forty days , and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” They repented and were spared from destruction.
John the Baptist cried out, a voice in the wilderness: –
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!”(See Mk 1:1-3 NKJ)
Therefore; when you know the Lord is speaking to you; about the sinful condition of your heart! Heed His voice! Do not harden your heart! Even as Israel had done often, in their past history, paying the consequence of their hardened heart. Yet when they repented, even as Nineveh repented of their wickedness, Israel and Nineveh had been saved.
What then are you going to do this day; with Jesus, who is the Christ; the Only Mediator; between God and Man?
The Angry Prophet
Now when Jonah saw God’s compassion and mercy, which He had shown toward Nineveh, he became angry, displeased about it. He became disillusioned, for he was waiting to see Nineveh’s destruction.
Jonah then complained to God, saying that he knew the Lord’s Heart, His willingness to show mercy to whomsoever called upon His Name in total repentance. He(Jonah) became angry, rather, wanting the Lord to take his life, than allowing him to live, and see the graciousness of God, in sparing Nineveh.
The Lord knows His prophets, His people. After all He created us in His image. Although we heeded the enemy, causing us to fall from grace, the Lord shows us His Mercy. For He knew what was in Jonah’s heart. Instead of answering his prayer, the Lord spared Jonah also.
He made a plant come up to keep Jonah from the sun, and the heat of the day. He also prepared a worm, to destroy the plant. In this the Lord showed Jonah an important lesson concerning His Grace, Love, Mercy and Forgiveness.
Jonah had been pleased when the plant shaded him from the heat of the day. Yet when the plant had been destroyed, Jonah once more became angry. How is our heart, toward the Lord, when He shows mercy to sinners.
Do we know the Lord’s heart, toward the sinner, or do we like Jonah, become angry when the Lord, shows the sinner, His Grace, Mercy, Love, Forgiveness and Salvation? Remember it is God’s will that none should perish, rather for all men everywhere, would have opportunity for Salvation.
Even though we may have backslidden, the Lord’s Grace, Love, Mercy endures the test of time. When Israel backslid, messed up, When Adam (man) sinned, the Lord’s Mercy and compassion, had been ready to draw mankind back to Him.
Although He banned man from Eden, Paradise, He still cared for them enough, to clothe them. He even gave them a hint of His blueprint to draw us back to Him. The first Messianic prophetic promise had been given to Adam.
He told them and the serpent who deceived them; “_ _ _ I will put enmity between you (the serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring, He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. (Gen 3:15 Amp).