What Did Jonah Learn?

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people to repent or experience His wrath, but Jonah didn’t care about the people and went in the opposite direction. He found himself in a terrible storm aboard a ship, and then in the belly of a big fish. He cried out to God for forgiveness AND rescue and the big fish spit him out onto a beach. THEN Jonah went to Nineveh and did what he was supposed to in the first place. Amazingly the people repented to avoid God’s wrath, but Jonah wasn’t happy. He sat sulking outside Nineveh in the hot, scorching sun. Our merciful God caused a tree to grow up overnight to shade Jonah, but Jonah didn’t change his heart so God caused the tree to wither. THEN Jonah got really angry.

For those of you who know the story, have you ever wondered what happened after that? I did and I wrote a possibility. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

After God spoke, Jonah thought he heard leaves flutter on the vine, but the vine was dead. While he was still sulking, somebody tapped Jonah on the shoulder.

            “Mr. Jonah, you must be hot and thirsty,” said a Ninevite. “Here, I brought you some cool, refreshing water.”

            “Thank you,” said Jonah, “but why would you, a Ninevite, bring me a drink?”

            “Because, Mr. Jonah, you brought us an important message. You saved our whole town from destruction.”

            “Oh no! It wasn’t me. It was God Himself! His grace, mercy and compassion are for everyone.” Jonah didn’t have the heart to tell this kind, compassionate person that he never wanted to come to Nineveh.

            “But Mr. Jonah, you brought us His message. You said if we didn’t change, God would not show us mercy. If you hadn’t come, we would be as dead as all the people we killed. We didn’t deserve God’s mercy. We deserved His punishment.”

            Well, Jonah had to agree. He never thought God should save the Ninevites. He thought they should all perish for the terrible way they lived. Jonah had to admit there was something amazing about this man who brought him water. He didn’t have to show kindness to Jonah but God changed his heart.

            “Oh God!” Jonah cried. “Now I get it. Have mercy on me for my hard heart. Melt me and mold me by your Spirit to do your will—willingly. I don’t want to be stubborn any more. Teach me to love as you love. I am your servant.”

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