Jonah, you old false prophet you, where is the destruction you prophesied? Although I don’t think there is any reason to think Jonah was literal (and I am not sure if Jesus thought he was literal… OK just a rattling of the cages in those totally aside, probably irrelevant comments), there is so much to learn.
Jonah did have some internal issues. And those were not dealt with after getting on with the job. He came to the city of Nineveh that never took three days to walk across(!) but probably did symbolically. Three days of being in the place of death, covered in whale vomit, is the only way to walk across any city. And certainly there is no way a city can be walked across and words of judgement be brought without carrying the vomit of one’s own failures with us.
When we do that we think we do well… until it does not turn out right. Yes, we all deserve judgement, but I have repented… so still show up and expose this city as evil. God doesn’t do it and then plays a game with Jonah. Up grows this shade, this protection only for it to go again. The shade of our repentance hiding the bigger issue of not understanding the mercy of heaven. God’s mercy is extended… even because in the city are many cattle! God’s respect for and love for creation, his sight of cattle is bigger and more merciful than all of us who have been so repentant and humble. That is just a cover for when the shade goes it is exposed. ‘I have gone through this and that…’ get’s exposed with and ‘I still don’t understand the love and mercy of God’.
Prophecy is not automatic. I love when we get warnings. Gayle hates it. She is the ‘glass is half full’ and never wants anything that changes that opinion. I need her cos I am ‘look the glass is half-empty’. In my glass half-empty scenario the real issue is to find how we can fill it right up or at least as close to the top as possible. For me warnings help! When we hear this is before you, set out for your destruction, I think OK now what are we to do as none of that is ‘predestined’.
Thank God for unfulfilled prophecies. For what can be turned.
So to the negative people, those who see demons here there and everywhere (OK simply writing to me in this paragraph)… you see some of that cos of internal issues. Getting swallowed by the whale was not enough. You do stink with the vomit, but there are deeper issues. Issues about understanding how God sees cattle!
But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals (cattle)?