Jonah: My take-aways…
- God’s plan cannot be ignored.
- God’s compassion is something we should love. Jonah loves God’s compassion on him, when he praises God for allowing him to live after being swallowed by the big fish. But Jonah isn’t so happy when God shows compassion on Ninevah. Are we okay with God loving our enemies? One commentator said that Jonah likely viewed the Ninevites the way we view the Nazis. Again I say–are we okay with God showing compassion on our enemies? This makes me think of the death penalty. We want justice, but can we forgive our enemies? Can we be okay with giving life to those who have taken lives and done atrocities? I think that we MUST be okay with giving life, because God can show compassion on the worst of the worst, so I must do so, too.
Micah: My take-aways…
- God desperately wants his people, his family (Israel) to remember his good deeds and live a righteous life. Like a parent desiring goodness for their child, God desires good for his people. (see Micah 6 below)
“My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
2. God’s people (us!) really do want to please the Lord. (see Micah 6 below)
With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
3. So what’s the problem? It seems like God and man want the same things, but our sinful human nature gets in the way. We take our wealth for granted and oppress the poor, we ignore those who need our help, we establish unjust societies/governments, and we just plain mess up…because of our iniquity, and because God is so holy, there is a gap. Justice must be served. Praise the LORD that he has a plan of salvation that involves a man, God’s son, being born of a woman in Bethlehem and taking on the sin of man for us, so that we can be restored to right relationship with God through Him.
4. God is good! He demands justice, but he also forgives and delights to show mercy. (see Micah 7 below)
Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.