Jonah Part 7: Sharing My Faith is Not About Me! posted by Yuen Woh Voon on Jan 30, 2012
When God saw that the Ninevites had repented, he decided not to destroy them. However Jonah was unhappy about this because he had wanted God to demonstrate His power by destroying the city and validating His own call as God’s prophet.
In His anger, Jonah calls upon God to take his own life as he feels that the people would have lost respect for him as a prophet.
God however reminds Jonah of His own sovereignty and questions Jonah if he indeed has any right to be angry when God spares the people of the city of Nineveh.
Jonah merely sulks and ventures out of the city and locates a spot overlooking the city where he settles down at a shelter he has made. He waits to see what God will do to the city. (Jonah ignores the fact that God has said earlier that He will spare the city! I guess this is not very different from people who sulk at situations they are unhappy about in the hope that the situation will be reversed when people see that they’re not happy.) Is it God’s responsibility to make us happy?
God then provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort. Jonah was glad for the shade provided by the vine.
However, the following day, God provided a worm which chewed the vine so that it withered and can no longer provide any shelter for Jonah. Additionally when the sun came up, God provided a scorching east wind and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so much so that he grew faint.
Again, because of his selfish arrogance, Jonah wanted to die. He seems to think that the issues were about himself, his preaching, his ministry, his comfort, his discomfort. Aren’t we all like this sometimes? Even when we share our faith, we think the issue is about us; how well we share, whom we share with, how many we manage to convert, how hard we worked, how much we sacrificed? We often forget that the issue is about others, others who need to be saved, others who are perishing, others who need the gospel, others who need the power of God in their lives.
God then intervenes and asks Jonah whether he has a right to be angry since he did not tend or make the vine grow. Furthermore, since Nineveh had more than 120,000 people who are ignorant, should not God be concerned about that great city?
My friend, it’s not about you and me.
It’s not about you and me being involved in evangelism. It’s not even about you and me sacrificing to save people. Just like the issues have never been about the life guards at the beach, what they wear, how they look, how hard they work. It’s only about the people they are responsible for, the lives they need to save.
I pray we keep our focus. Malaysia has more than 24 million people who are ignorant of the good news of Jesus Christ and should not God be concerned about this great nation? The United States has more than 160 million people who are ignorant of the good news of Jesus Christ and should not God be concerned about this great nation? Yes, and what might you be unhappy about?