Friday, June 27, 2008

Verses for today (June 27, 2008)

This morning I was reading the book of Jonah; It's only 3 chapters, but I needed to read it a couple of times because, even though there are a lot of lessons to learn from this book, there seemed like there was something in particular that God was communicating. It wasn't until after I did the cross referencing, that I realized what was being taught.

The book of Jonah starts with these two verses (Chapter 1:1 and 2):

1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry (cry out) against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

So Jonah was commissioned to go into the city of Nineveh and warn them that they need to repent, and if they didn't God's wrath would be upon them. So verse 3 reads:

3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Because Jonah disobeyed the Lord, there was a huge storm that came to affect the waters that the ship was on. So the captain of the ship and everyone on it wondered who brought this disaster upon them; and Jonah let them know that the storm came because he fled from the Lord. Jonah didn't want them to suffer because of him, so he told the people on the ship to throw him overboard...and they did; and the water became calm again. However, while Jonah was in the water, "a great fish" (as said in verse 17) swallowed Jonah.

Jonah was in the belly of the "great fish" (Matthew 12:40 says it was a whale) for 3 days and 3 nights, and he prayed to God and he repented; and then as Chapter 2:10 says:

10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomitted out Jonah upon the dry land.

Chapter 3:

1 And the word from the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee

So Jonah arose, went into the city of Nineveh and cried out, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." (chapter 3:4); chapter 3 verses 5-9 speaks of how all the people of Nineveh repented. Verse 10 then reads:

10 And God saw their works and they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did not.

Jonah witnessed all of this, and he was angry with himself because of not obeying God the first time, and told God that he is better off dead than alive.

Chapter 4:4:

4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? (is it right for you to be angry?)

After a different chain of events, God asks Jonah again in verse 9:

9 Doest thou well to be angry...?

and God ends the book of Jonah saying in verse 11:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

These are the verses that I was lead to while I was cross referencing:

Proverbs 16:32:

32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh the city.

Proverbs 14:29:

29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit (short of spirit) exalteth folly.

and Proverbs 19:11 and 12:

11 The discretion of man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) transgression.

12 The king's wrath is as the roaring lion; but his favor is as dew upon the grass.

The answer to the question "Doest thou well to be angry?" is "no". If it was good for one to be angry, God wouldn't have spared Jonah, those in Nineveh, or us.

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