by: Rev. David Bast
“Do you do well to be angry?” God asks Jonah (v. 4), inviting him to take a look in the mirror and check his attitude. But Jonah is in no mood to listen. So he gets a little object lesson. Jonah wants destruction for Nineveh, death dealt out on a vast scale. God decides to give a small taste of it to him to let him see how it feels. A plant springs up but dies in a day. Back comes the Lord with the same question: “Is your anger appropriate, Jonah?” “Yes,” says Jonah, “I have a right to my feelings. I cared about the plant and now it is gone.”
God shows us his innermost heart in the question he then asks Jonah. “You pitied the plant; shouldn’t I pity Nineveh, that great city?”
God’s heart of love is moved today for the millions of people in our world who do not know him. He feels compassion for those who live from day to day without a thought about eternity or about God himself, people who don’t know their right hand from their left, who do not know Jesus Christ, the only one in whom there is life and hope. God has pity for all such, and he longs that they should turn to him in faith and be saved.
Maybe you have been living in ignorance like one of the Ninevites. Maybe you have been living like their cattle. Whoever you are, God cares about you. His compassion is for you too.