Friday, January 31, 2014

God's Mercy - Jonah 4:6-7

Jonah 4:6-7 -- "And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away."

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God uses both blessings and to challenge us and change us for the better. One example of God using circumstances to mold us is the prophet Jonah.

This rebellious prophet goes through several example of the Lord preparing circumstances for him, both good and bad.

Jonah was a well known prophet in his day. He went around to all the cities proclaiming God's power. Until one day God sends him to a town that is more wicked than any other, Nineveh. Jonah does not want to go so he runs in the opposite direction.

The Lord sent a storm (Jonah 1:4). The crew of the ship threw Jonah overboard when they realized he was the cause of that storm (Jonah 1:5). God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah so he would not drown (Jonah 1:7).

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After all of Jonah's adventures, he finally speaks his message in Nineveh and then he stubbornly sits and waits for God's judgment on the wicked people. However, the people repented and God showed them mercy.

It did not matter how long Jonah had been God's servant, he still didn't understand God's mercy. Nonetheless, God shows mercy on Jonah's rebellious attitude. He prepared a plant to grow and shade Jonah from the heat. However, Jonah did not change his heart so God sent a worm to kill the plant so Jonah had to endure the heat and the wind.

God shows mercy when we repent, but He teaches us the hard way when we keep our heart from understanding His love. Through all things God teaches us, wanting us to change for the better. God uses both good and bad circumstances to show His mercy and love.

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