Wednesday, July 22
Chinaemerem Joshua Ibezim
The God Of Men
Jonah 4.9 "Then God said to Jonah, 'Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?' And he said, 'It is right for me to be angry, even to death!'"
You know the story: God sent Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh, but he was reluctant, he even tried to flee from the presence of God. Well, after a dramatic experience, he went, and because of his message the people of Nineveh repented, and God forgave them. That greatly upset Jonah: he had already judged and condemned the people; they deserved no mercy, neither did they deserve forgiveness.
God decided to teach Jonah a lesson: He prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for him. Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And when the sun arose, God prepared a vehement wind; and the sun beat on Jonah, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live." Jonah was angry with God for taking the shade away, and God said to him, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
That was the problem Jesus had with the Pharisees who didn't want Him to heal on the Sabbath. He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep?”
A lot of us value our cars, our pets, our jobs, our monies in the bank, our properties, our businesses and other investments and assets more than we value souls of men who are perishing and have needs: we would rather spend hours praying and fasting to God for things than for beings! We've got to change our mindset and begin to truly love as God does. We must put people first before anything else.