Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonaho the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. — Jonah 1:1-2
God had instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh and preached to the Assyrians about God’s pending God’s judgment. God was going to destroyed them because of their wickedness. Nineveh was a great city but they were heathen nation. They practiced idolatry and they were a very cruel people. I can speculate that Jonah felt they were not worthy of him going there being that they were heathens and beneath him. Instead of going to Nineveh which was a three days journey, Jonah went the opposite direction and tried to flee from the presence of God. This story came to my mind today because I saw a lesson in this. Here we have prophet of God who was given instructions, but chose to do his own thing. He became judgmental. He felt these people were not good enough to receive a word from God and another thing, they were Israel’s enemies. Who are we to judge people who God told us to pray for or that God told us to speak a word of life into their lives. But we look on their outer appearance and feel that they are not worthy of the blessings of God because they might be considered our enemies.
We will judge people because we feel they are not believers like we think or they are someone we dealt closely with in the past and they have said or done something that has hurt our feelings. We said we have forgiven them, but when they cross us, those negative feelings return. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in it, but immediately reject that feeling because it’s just the enemy wanting to take you back to that place, and you have overcome it. But God knows our heart and their heart! We can only see what’s outside when we look at it through our natural eyes.
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” –Jeremiah 17:10
Finally Jonah goes and preach to the Assyrians, and do you know the people starting from the king, who got off his throng and took off his kingly garments, all the way down to animals, fasted and repented. God turn away his wrath and allowed the people to live because of their repenting heart. The sad thing about this, Jonah was angry that these people lived and now Jonah wanted to die. So he marched himself out of the city and waited in the hot sun and God allow a plant to grow and shield his head and the next day he caused a worm to come and eat it. I think God has a sense of humor. But he is God and can do anything. You must read this story!