1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amit′tai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nin′eveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nin′eveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nin′eveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nin′eveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nin′eveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nin′eveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
6 Then tidings reached the king of Nin′eveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nin′eveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?”
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.
4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “I pray thee, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repentest of evil. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, take my life from me, I beseech thee, for it is better for me to die than to live
God of grace and mercy, please help me NOT to be like Jonah. As I look around, there are people whose lives and lifestyles do not fit into my definition of good or godly. As I live in a chaotic culture, there are people who may resent me as much as I resent them. I’m not that glad that you created them, and that you make me live with them. Sorry. As a person who is aware of your love, let me share that good news with everyone I meet. Keep me from condemning others for their behavior (You alone are the judge.) Keep me from withholding news of your mercy from those I have judged not worthy of you. Work on me, and in me, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.