This week, we’ve been looking at the OT book of Jonah. On Monday, we saw how Jonah was a prophet who was given a simple message of judgement to deliver to a hostile people – but ran away in the opposite direction. Unwittingly, he himself becomes an object lesson as he embodies Israel’s failure to live out her calling to be a light to the nations. (You probably want to read Monday’s first, if you missed it.) God gets Jonah’s attention with a violent storm, and he has himself thrown overboard to save the others aboard the ship. God sends a giant fish to rescue him, and Jonah sings a song of praise – acknowledging that God has shown him undeserved mercy and vowing to complete his mission to Nineveh. Yesterday, he did just that: and all of Nineveh repented. Although Israel isn’t responsive to the steady stream of prophets God has sent, the evil Ninevites repent after just five words from Jonah.
Scene 5: God’s heart for the nations
But the story doesn’t end there. Jonah, it turns out, isn’t overjoyed at Nineveh’s repentance and God’s forgiveness. ‘Cause it’s exactly what he was worried might happen. This merciful God of his might be… well… merciful. How bad would that be! Listen to what he says: