“The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. “Get up! go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.” Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command…Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!” (Jonah 3: 1-4)
Both the man of God and God’s chosen people had forgotten the reason God had chosen them to be His treasured people. (Isaiah 42:6-7) “I am the Lord. I have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will hold you by your hand. I will watch over you, and I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people and a light to the nations, in order to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness from the prison house.”
Did Jonah communicate his “least” to call himself obedient? (a one sentence sermon) Is this a case of outward obedience with a rebellious heart?
Jonah did not extend God’s compassion and forgiveness in his message, even though he knew the truth and had just experienced God’s nature firsthand.
“I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster.” Jonah 4:3
Jonah had already decided that the Ninevites did not deserve God’s compassion and forgiveness. The man of God did not share the heart of God for these people. He offered no hope.
Do we allow our preconceived notions to influence whether or not we share truth. Do we withhold the good news for those “beggars looking for bread”?
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected.” (Luke 12:48)
Do we boast of our minimum, outward obedience and deny the inward attitudes/motives that thrive in our hearts?