TEXT: Jonah 4:1-11(NKJV)

4:1. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.

4:2. 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.

4:3. "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for [it is] better for me to die than to live!"

4:4. Then the LORD said, "[Is it] right for you to be angry?"

4:5. 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.

4:6. 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.

4:7. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it [so] damaged the plant that it withered.

4:8. 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."

4:9. 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!"

4:10. 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.

4:11. "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?"

STUDY: The story of Jonah and his experiences with God concerning the city of Nineveh teaches us as Christians that despite our unfaithfulness, God is ever faithful to His Word and whatever He says concerning any matter must surely come to pass (Isa. 55:11). Jonah exhibited human sinful thoughts by his disobedience to God, which was signs of wickedness because Jonah did not want God to forgive the gentle nation-Nineveh. He maintained that they deserved to be punished by God for their sins (vs 1; Isa.55:7-8).

On the contrary, our God is compassionate over the plight of sinners and readily forgives those repent of their sins, just as the people of Nineveh did when they heard the message of God. Jonah was very happy when God saved him, but angry when Nineveh was saved. This is a lesson for all Christians about God's mercy and forgiveness. If we obey God's Word, He will gently lead us. His harsh judgment is reserved for those who persist in rebellion (1 Sam. 15:22-23). What is your attitude towards the wicked? Do you want them destroyed, as Jonah wanted the people of Nineveh destroyed by God? Or do you wish they could experience God's mercy and forgiveness? God will always work His Will, and He desires that all come to Him, trust in Him and be saved.

PRAYER:God of all mercy and grace, look mercifully unto us your children when we call on You for the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus name. Amen. 

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