Summary: Maybe one of the reasons we don’t pray for our enemies or witness to them (The ones who have hurt us, talked about us, lied about us, been mean to us) is, because deep down inside, we are afraid that they will repent and God will forgive them instead of punish them!!
Jonah 4:1-11-But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.
So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered.
And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
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!”
But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.
And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
Nineveh would march into a city and conquer it, then they would take a couple and have them watch as they decapitated some people, then would take that couple with them to the next city and send that couple into that city to tell the officials, what would happen to them if they didn’t surrender to Nineveh.
No, wonder Jonah didn’t want to preach to them!!
If I was writing this story about myself, I would have stop at chapter 3, I mean he preached and the whole town repented.
Chapter 1:17-Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
God will prepare in your life, whatever it takes for you to accomplish His will in your life!!
Sometimes God’s got to allow your problems to swallow you up!
I am afraid that sometimes we have to go to depth’s before, we will pay attention to God!
Somebody asked a preacher one time, “Do you believe that a whale swallowed Jonah?”
The preacher replied, “Yes, I do and I will tell you something else, I would have believed it, if it had said, that Jonah swallowed a whale!”
Let me tell you, Jesus said it was the truth…Matthew 12:39-41-But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
God had Jonah’s mind in chapter 1, (Verse 12-And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.”)
God had Jonah’s will in chapter 2, (Verse 9-But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”)
God had Jonah’s body in chapter 3, ( Verse 3-So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.)
But God wanted Jonah’s heart!
He had the knowledge…You can know what to do! You can have your doctrine right, your theology right and still not be right with God!
He was motivated…(Ok, not till he was swallowed by fish), you can have the drive or the determination, or will power to be doing things for God, and still not be right with God!
He was doing something….(He was preaching) you can be working for the Lord…Preaching, leading singing, playing the piano, teaching Sunday school class, singing in the choir and still not be right with God!!