Jonah had received God’s compassion and mercy yet in the following moments he showed an extreme lack of compassion and mercy towards the people of Ninevah.
Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city.
There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
The implication here isn’t that Jonah was looking to see God’s mercy envelop the city, but rather he was hoping to see God’s wrath unleashed. In these next few verses we see Jonah’s increasing, explosive anger – anger at a plant being taken away from him, anger at God, anger at the Ninevites.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
“We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.
How do you tell if someone is puffed up by knowledge, or built up by love? From a distance they look exactly the same. However, when they are poked (pressure is applied) then those that are puffed up explode like a balloon, whilst one built up by love would respond similarly to a wall being poked. Little or no reaction.
Jonah demonstrated that he was puffed up with knowledge. He knew that God is gracious, merciful, compassionate however he didn’t demonstrate love. Though he himself had personally experienced God’s grace, he didn’t extend grace to others. He was so consumed with bitterness and anger that when the plant that sheltered him died, he was ready to die himself.
Without compassion our fire burns but it gives very little light.
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