REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional was first posted on July 15, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
Yesterday, we saw that God’s motive in appointing the fish, the plant, and the worm was to reveal what was in Jonah’s heart: being concerned only with his own comfort and a sense of revenge while oblivious to how God felt for the lost. Today, we will finish our examination of the book of Jonah by looking at God’s second motive.
Here, God states plainly that Jonah had such pity (or compassion) on a plant that appeared and disappeared in one night even though he had nothing to do with it: It was something so minor and fleeting. Then God turns the tables and asks Jonah why He shouldn’t have the same compassion for Nineveh that was filled with thousands upon thousand who were clueless.
In this, we find the greatest of Jonah’s sin. As a prophet of God, his task was revealing God’s message, desire, and character. Yet, concerning the city of Nineveh, Jonah did none of these joyfully. He ran away, questioned God’s mercy, and would rather die than relent before God. The call of God to let Him be known and to know Him was broken (by a prophet no less).
God’s desire for Jonah is for us as well: He wants us to know Him and to express that knowledge to the world. This heart of God is consistent throughout Scripture. As people who have a prophetic call, as indicated in Acts 2:17, “In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,” we have been commissioned to know God and to make Him known. His heart is not to destroy the wicked, but to see them repent. This is what He revealed in sparing Nineveh, and like Jonah, God is persistently asking us to go wherever He calls us to speak what He places in our mouths.
Prayer: God, I say “yes” to Your calling. Reveal more of yourself to me. Empower me to reflect You to the world. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 6
Lunch Break Study
Re-read the passage for this morning’s devotion.
Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Questions to Consider
- What does verse 10 in this morning’s text reveal about Jonah?
- What does verse 11 in this morning’s text reveal about God?
- How does the Jonah text add to our understanding of the Great Commission?
- Jonah showed compassion and pity for the plant that benefitted him, but his heart didn’t reflect God’s heart of compassion because of his indifference to the fate of the Ninevites.
- Despite Nineveh’s great sins, God had great compassion on them. This reveals that God has compassion even on those who sin.
- God’s desire isn’t for us to only share the Good News of the gospel, but also to have the heart of God for the lost and to proclaim the News that reflects it.
As we wrap up the story of Jonah, we are confronted with our own heart, just as he was. The Word of the Lord came to us to arise and “go and make disciples,” even to people who seem undeserving. Tonight, ask the Lord to reveal the person to whom you need to share the gospel with. Pray that He would reveal His heart and desire that your heart would be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit.