The story and book of Jonah closes with a question that actually is left unanswered. I believe that is was left unanswered for one reason – for readers to answer the question. What is the question?
And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?
Let’s put the question in perspective. After Jonah preaches to Nineveh and the city repents, Jonah is mad.
Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.
Here is why God asked him the question and lesson #5:
Jonah demanded his COMFORT above every thing else in life? It was either his comfort or nothing. Jonah showed more sympathy for the dead plant that kept a shade over him than he did for 120,000 perishing souls. I mean it was so bad that God even had to say to him – well if your comfort is more important than these people, at least think about the livestock – don’t you care about them at least?
In other words, what God was saying to him and is altimately saying to all of us is – what is the most important thing in life – your comfort or God’s will to reach a dying world! Your comfort or Intimacy with God, your comfort or God’s plan for you to be his hand extended, a hand of compassion and generosity? What is the most important thing in life – your comfort or your prayer life, your comfort or your consecration?
Everyone of us will have to answer that question – I wonder what would be your answer!
Thanks everyone for hanging with me during this blog series – it’s been fun!
Thank you for your comments, emails, likes and rates… May the Lord bless us all!