January is "Missions Emphasis" month at our church. Each week different organizations and individuals share how God has been at work in hearts and lives. It is a tremendous blessing and challenge, at the same time, I began to wonder why I have never heard a missionary sermon about Jonah. God used him to accomplish the biggest revival. Three days of pathetic effort, 120,000 lives changed!
The way God overturned Nineveh was not the way Jonah wanted God to handle them. Jonah resented God's mercy and compassion towards for them. He had contempt for their sin and wanted justice more than he wanted Nineveh to be transformed. Jonah wanted God's "haphak," to mean destruction. Ironically, Jonah was the one who needed his attitude overthrown!
In college I was manipulated and hurt by a friend's sin. I decided to avoid anyone similar who could hurt me that way again. I developed a "Jonah" attitude. The Lord had to haphak, OVERTURN, me! The book of Jonah illustrates that a self-righteous heart can be harder to change than a entire city. God asks me to go to my "Nineveh." What sinner, or group of sinners is your "Nineveh?" Will you join me?
And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
Bible Project Jonah Video:
Let it Start With Me By No Other Name