Sibling rivalry can be mild, but it can also be destructive, can’t it? Two brothers may try to one up each other with sports, with cars, with careers. But if they try to turn their parents against the other brother, the family suffers. Neither son wants to allow the other brother to benefit from Mom and Dad’s love.
Here is Jonah. He has proclaimed the message God commanded, and he has seen the desired result. The king of Assyria and all the people have repented, and God has forgiven them. God is not going to destroy them, even though Assyria has done awful things to the nations around them and to their own people.
Like the worst sibling rivalry, Jonah is mad. How dare God forgive them!
When Jonah ran from God, God sent a storm and a fish to bring him back to where he needed to be. Now, in response to Jonah’s anger, God sends a plant. And a worm.
What did Jonah tell the sailors during the storm? “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” Jonah didn’t get angry at the storm, or the fish, but now he is mad at a plant.
No, he’s not. He's mad because God didn’t do what Jonah thought he should do. Jonah wanted to see Nineveh punished. But God’s compassion is all-encompassing, and we can’t understand it. He challenges Jonah, “You’re concerned about a plant. I’m concerned about people.”
God is always concerned about people. He is always compassionate. He is always waiting for people to turn from their sin and come to him for forgiveness, eternal life, and joy in this one. Are you in need of God’s compassion today? It’s there. God is there, waiting for you.
If you have questions about the forgiveness of God, we would love to talk with you about it! You can ask for prayer on the LCBC App, or connect with us at one of our locations. God’s love is for you, and we want to help you fully follow him!