THEME: God’s Fatherly Compassion
PASSAGE: Jonah 4:1-11
HYMN: MHB 431 LOVE divine, all loves excelling
MEMORY VERSE: Hosea 11:8-9 “How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! How can I make you like Admah! How can I treat you like Zeboi’im! My heart recoils within Me, My compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute My fierce anger, I will not again destroy E’phraim; for I AM God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come to destroy.”
If God struck out at people just as short-fused humans frequently do, no one would be alive today. Jonah, in a typically human reaction, though God would wipe the sinners of Nineveh off the face of the earth!
The church must today repent of these sorcery and retributive prayers becoming the order of the day such as, ‘All my enemies must die by fire.’ Sometimes, unconsciously displeased and angry at the conversion and the reception of our enemies into the divine favour, always wishing that because they dealt so wickedly to us, that someday, nemesis will surely catch up with them. This was the same sin of the scribes and Pharisees, who murmured at our Saviour because he ate with publicans and sinners.
In verse 4, God is still asking all Jonahs of today such question as “Have you any right to be angry?” ….when it seems your supposed enemy is still alive and making tremendous progress in life. God wants us to love our supposed enemies, feed them, clothe them, pray for them (not curse); by this, we will prove the love of God in us and win them over to Christ (Romans 12:14-20 and Matt 5:44). Please, learn to forgive no matter what; it will relieve you from sudden destruction.
When God took away the temporal comfort Jonah had, he was very angry with God, “But God said to Jonah ‘Do you do well to be angry for the plant?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die'” (verse 9). Yet it didn’t occur to him the worth of over 120,000 people in Nineveh that would perish overnight if God was not compassionate with them. Our God is compassionate and expects us His children to be likewise.
PRAYER: May God removes our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh that we may have compassion for others in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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