June 17, 2021
” He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, takeaway my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:2-3
Jonah wants to die. He says that he knew that God was going to forgive from the beginning. Why does Jonah want nothing to do with a forgiving God? Is Jonah an ultra-patriotic man of the Jewish faith ? He wants to be the most powerful prophet for the Empire of the world.
Israel was enemies with Nineveh. Jonah might have been looking for payback. Maybe he has a family that was killed by the Ninevites ? Maybe they had taken some family land from him ?
The writer quotes God saying that God cares for the people of Nineveh. And even their animals. The story ends on this abrupt note. There is no moral to the story. It is our story to interpret. Eugene Petersen, author of the Message, wrote a book about pastoral calling with Jonah being the text. What do the four short chapters say to you? Is it about Jonah, or God or Israel or faith ? I know it is not about the whale !
the books of the Bible. are hard to understand.
They were written long ago.
The writers have long since passed away.
it is the task of each of us, and the church
to wrestle with these old old words,
to keep them alive for today
Send us your Spirit. AMEN.
Soaring like Vultures
lifted up by unseen Hands
Trust, silent enters my fears Monica Pieper Landoni 2021