Jonah’s Gourd Vine

A Tanach
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(First published 10-6-2009)
I love the Book of Jonah in the Bible.  I love how Jonah was so self indulgent, yet God was so patient with him.  As we know, Jonah did not want to prophesy to the people of Nineveh as God had commanded him, so he rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.  After God came after him with the storm, Jonah realized and I believe he knew it all along that his arms were just too short to box with God!
So he obeyed and prophesied to the people and they repented!  How often do you hear this in the Bible? 
Instead of rejoicing that the people wanted to do God’s will, Jonah became angry and petulent.  He had the nerve to tell God (and I’m paraphrasing it) “see, I knew you would want to help them folks!  You shouldn’t want to help them folks, they don’t deserve it!  They are just evil! Only me and my people deserve Your love and grace.  Now I’m just mad at You God for being so good!

What I really love is how God dealt with Jonah.  He was so patient and instructive.  And Jonah was so childish and pouty.  I’m still wrestling with how I understand what God does for and to Jonah in verses 6-8 of Chap 4.  God raised the gourd vine and then smote it. He then sent a sultry wind and the sun beat upon Jonah.  This just made Jonah even madder. (Jonah had built himself a booth on the outskirts of the city so as to sit just outside the city to see what would become of it) God then tells Jonah that if he cared about a vine, then why shouldn’t He care about 120,000 people!
I wonder what Jonah then said to God.  The Book ends without a further response from Jonah.  I supposed that Jonah was able to grasp what God was telling him, and he probably understood it already.  Jonah felt free enough with God to be his unlovely self and God patiently taught him the right way to see things.  God could have just struck Jonah down for being evil himself, (I probably would have at least cussed him) yet we know that’s not God’s way.  He’s slow to anger!  Praise the Lord that he is patient with us as we take two steps forward and one step back pertaining to the things of God!  This Book of the Bible is so affirming for me!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. jjbrock says:

    >I believe to this day that Jonah was place in the Bible to remind us of our selfishness.

  2. nothink4me says:

    >The story of Johah, Wonderful and so much to learn from it, most importantly, is when the Lord Give you a job to do…you will do it rather or not you want to. Same as Moses.Anna I also responded to your comment on my blog, I hope you stop by and check it out, there's two. Sometimes things don't come to you all at once:)

  3. godamongus says:

    >Johah was a prophet who tried to run from God's call, but God restored him and used him to warn the people of Ninevah. Jonah spoke God's message but had to learn to love the people to who he spoke. God always comes to us in grace, even in our failures and disobedience. He is the God of another chance. We aren't told what happened to Jonah. The people of Ninevah repented; I surely hope that Jonah did as well.

  4. Anna Renee says:

    >I believe that he did repent, because in the end he listened to God and obeyed Him when he was told to prophesy to the people. After sitting under that hot sun after his vine died, I believe he got God's message!

  5. >People fail to understand that God will get your attention! He will keep calling you and he will do what he has to do to get it! When you submit to him, the love is glorious!

  6. Anna Renee says:

    >Hello NubianLockedPrincess! Yes God will get your attention in the way He knows you will respond! What I love about Him is He keeps on knocking at the door. Now if it were me, I would say "forget you, you didn't answer me the first time"! For Jonah it was extremes like a storm and scorching wind and burning sun. We all know what it is for each of us!

  7. Rev. Mike says:

    >Great post. Sometimes we Christians focus on what affects us (the gourd) as opposed to what will bless others (Nineveh). It is a reminder that our personal desires should take a back seat to God's plans for us and for others.

  8. Anna Renee says:

    >Welcome Rev. Mike! Thank God that He understands us and is patient with our selfishness! If we are smart, we will learn the lesson that God is teaching us, and simply do His will. He will cause us to desire the things that He desires, so we'll get our way anyway!

  9. Thandi says:

    >Nice one!Thank you for that.New way of looking at this story.

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