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Day 30 | Jonah

Read Jonah 3:6-4:11

To some, Jonah was a fleeing prophet. To others, he was a mythical prophet, but Jesus did not think Jonah was mythical. Jesus declared that Jonah was a miraculous sign to describe His death, burial, and resurrection (see Matthew 12:40-41), depicting God’s great mercy on all people.

What do you do when God tells you to preach against people you don’t even like? No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, which is true in Jonah’s case but for reasons that are out of step with the heart of God. In scene one, Jonah defies God’s calling, and God’s discipline follows, which leads to prayer and deliverance for Jonah in scene two. We then find Jonah in scenes three and four reluctantly obedient to the Lord’s second calling to preach to Nineveh. A beautiful thing happens in scene three because of preaching God’s message: the gentiles of Nineveh repent, from the greatest to the least, humbling themselves, receiving the beautiful compassion and mercy of God. But in scene four, the bearer of God’s message is so angry he could die concerning Nineveh’s response. Jonah knew about the heart of the Lord (see Jonah 4:2; Exodus 34:6-7); he had experienced God’s mercy and salvation, yet regretted that Nineveh would receive this same love, mercy, and salvation. It is a challenge to love your enemies enough to desire their repentance and salvation.

Love extends to all in the Lord’s economy, including our “enemies” (Matthew 5:43- 48). After all, are we not all sinners saved by the grace and mercy of God (see Romans 3:23; 5:8)? Perhaps we have forgotten that Satan is our enemy and not the people of different nations, tribes, languages, and even the people of Nineveh. They are captives to sin just like you and me who need a Savior. We all have the same mission as Jonah (see Matthew 28:18-20), one sinner telling another sinner how they can be set free. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Pray for 10 minutes