Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Thought

“The Lord said, ‘You (Jonah) 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 twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left?’”  Jonah 4:10,11

Jonah was forced by the Lord to deliver a message of repentance and hope to the people of Nineveh, Israel’s enemy, and now he was resting under a shade tree that had been deliberately planted by the Lord “to deliver him from his misery” (vs 6).  So now Jonah sits angrily and licking his wounds because he had done this thing for the Lord and had watched the people of Nineveh repent and thus be spared judgment by the Lord.  Oh, the travesty!  Oh, the injustice of it all!  Jonah wanted them to fry!  And if it had been Jonah’s call, they would have.

Yet it is not the Lord’s will that any would perish, and the Lord takes no pleasure in anyone’s death (Ezekiel 18:30-32).  The Lord’s people, however, often feel very differently about those who oppose us and try to harm us.  Jesus reminds us that these very people should be the focus of our prayers and our blessings!  Oh, the shame to bless someone who does us harm!!  What will the neighbors think of us??  That we are cowards for not taking justice into our own hands, that we are weak-minded fools for allowing the Lord alone to be the Judge?  Imagine how many of us would still be standing if our neighbors were allowed to stand in judgment against us??



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