Jonah 3-4

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by: Judy Ledene

11/18/2021

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“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry” (4:1). As the anti-prophet, Jonah’s reaction to God’s compassion for the Ninevites is shocking in its honesty and also familiar. Like many self-righteous people, Jonah did not believe the well-known wicked, violent city deserved God’s mercy, and he had no interest in calling them to repent. Yet God sent Jonah there so that he – and all God’s people – could face his hypocrisy and understand the divine compassion that exceeds human understanding (4:11). 

“For I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful” (4:2). No one ‘deserves’ God’s mercy, whatever our background or label. Yet when we lay down our claim to righteousness, we humbly receive the gift of grace.

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry” (4:1). As the anti-prophet, Jonah’s reaction to God’s compassion for the Ninevites is shocking in its honesty and also familiar. Like many self-righteous people, Jonah did not believe the well-known wicked, violent city deserved God’s mercy, and he had no interest in calling them to repent. Yet God sent Jonah there so that he – and all God’s people – could face his hypocrisy and understand the divine compassion that exceeds human understanding (4:11). 

“For I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful” (4:2). No one ‘deserves’ God’s mercy, whatever our background or label. Yet when we lay down our claim to righteousness, we humbly receive the gift of grace.

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