Mercy Grace Judgement
“Arise, go to Nineveh.........But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."(Jonah 1:2,3)
And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea.(Jonah 1:12)
"Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah." (Jonah 1:17)
“Arise, go to Nineveh........ So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord."(Jonah 3:2,3)
"Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry." (Jonah 3:10-4:1)
Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”(Jonah 4:3)
"And the Lord God prepared a plant." (Jonah 4:6)
"But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm."(Jonah 4:7)
"And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind."(Jonah 4:8)
Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”(Jonah 4:8)
Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”(Jonah 4:4)
Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”(Jonah 4:9)
I realize this is jumping all around with verses,but there are several statements that stand out.We can see Jonah disobeying,then obeying.We can see him wanting to die 3 times.We can see 4 things that God prepared.We can see Jonah angry twice.We see God asking him twice if it was right for Jonah to be angry.Then Jonah say's it was right even to the point of death.
It almost took a disaster,then God's miraculous preservation to get Jonah's attention.
We need to remember that the people of Nineveh that Jonah was told to go and warn them of God's coming judgement and for them to repent were Gentiles and Israel's deadly enemy and Jonah would just as soon see God go ahead and destroy them.It looks like he had rather die than go there,thus he told the sailors to throw him into the sea.
Then when I think he reluctantly went to Nineveh and told them of God's judgement that was coming and the whole city repented and God spared judgement,Jonah got angry with God and said he knew God would do this.You have spared our enemies.Then he wanted God to just take him and let me die.
Then he went out of the city and tried to make himself a comfortable place to sit and still hoped to see God destroy the people and the city.
Then I believe we see God working with Jonah.I believe He was giving Jonah a lesson in His Grace and Mercy and Judgement.He prepared a plant to grow which gave him some shade and Jonah was grateful.Then God prepared a worm to destroy the plant and a strong wind with the hot sun made Jonah miserable.Then he became angry again about the plant dying and his discomfort.Nothing seemed to be going Jonah's way and he felt he was justified in being angry and wanting to die.
I believe there are many lessons here for us in seeing and experiencing God's Mercy and Grace as He deals and works with us in our own personal day by day experiences and His working with and patience with others around us and His "putting up"with so much in this world system that seems to just despise and reject everything about Him.
How many times do we because of our circumstances tend to get angry and even angry at God and just want to give up?
How many times because of what we see going on with other people,wonder why God puts up with it?
How many times because of the rebellion of this world system against God do we wander just how much longer He's going to wait to bring judgement?
How many times do we deep inside want God to bring judgement and tend to forget all His Mercy and Grace that has been extended to us and is still being extended?
How many times do we believe that our enemies seem to always have the upper hand and win out and we become angry and tend to blame God?
How many times are we grateful and a few moments later angry,frustrated and wanting to give up?How many times do we sit under the shade and watch and want God to bring judgement?
Yes eventually God's judgement was poured out on Nineveh and the city was destroyed,but there was a generation of people there in Jonah's day and because of his going to them and warning them they repented and turned to God.
We are living in a time that God's Grace is being poured out in an unprecedented way and eventually it will come to a close and Christ will come for His Church and we will go to meet Him in the air and forever be with Him.
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.Therefore comfort one another with these words."(1Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Then His judgement will be poured out.Jesus described that time as great tribulation and nothing like it since the beginning of the world.
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened."(Matthew 24:21-22)
But for now many are still being saved as God's Mercy and Grace is being extended.Even in our own lives we are experiencing and learning this wonderful Mercy and Grace whether we are in the shade or the sun.I believe God is patient with us as He teaches and grows us in His Word and His Mercy and Grace.
There is nothing wrong with desiring for our Lord to come for us and dropping this sinful nature and no longer having the struggle with sin,Satan and the world system.That is our hope and we are to be comforted in believing and knowing that He could come any moment for us.
But we are still here and He has a purpose for each one of us no matter what our circumstances may be.Being assured of that should cause us to live each day knowing His Grace is sufficient and living in expectancy of His coming for us.