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Jonah Likened Unto The Elder Brother Of The Prodigal Son

In Jonah, chapter 3, we read about the people of Nineveh who heard God’s message from Jonah and then repented of their sins. Every person was convicted of their wrongdoings, fasted, and prayed for God’s forgiveness. Therefore, God delivered them from the destruction that awaited them. Nineveh was a very wicked city of the Assyrian Empire but had been changed overnight. Praise God. However, was Jonah happy with what took place? No. He was angry instead of being joyful, which is very sad since he himself could not forgive them for what they had done. This is the same thing we see from the elder brother of the prodigal son. He was also unhappy when his brother returned and also could not forgive him. Now before we compare these stories, let’s first look into Jonah, chapter 4. It reads, 1“but it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.” (Jonah 4:1-5) Therefore, we see that Jonah would only be happy if the people were destroyed and not saved. This is very sad to see, especially after seeing so many people come to God for salvation. Unfortunately, this type of pride and selfishness is still in people’s hearts today, which needs to be removed before it is too late.

Just because we have been serving God for a long time or been in the faith for years, it doesn’t mean that other people that are new in the faith can’t be welcomed in by us. We should rejoice when someone returns to the faith or are a new believer that is now on fire for God. However, this was not the case for the elder son to the prodigal son, for he was angry also at his return. This was just like Jonah, in how he reacted to the people of Nineveh coming to God. In Luke 15 it reads, 2“now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:25-32) My friends, what this man did, and what Jonah did, were both wrong. We should never be upset about another person coming to Christ and then getting the royal treatment from God. We should most desire to see people be saved and then rejoice with them, for they were lost and are now found. I pray that you will also uplift those that have come to the faith and help them also.

Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray for every brother and sister in the faith. May they come to know the reality of Your great love and then desire to showcase it among their neighbors. What is it for us to get upset with people who are new to the faith, but rejoice in their salvation instead. Even people we know, where walls have been built up because of all the evil things they have done to us over the years, it is up to us to simply forgive them as You already forgave them. It is Your guidance and direction in our lives, Lord, that helps us love and forgive one another as You forgive us. Surely, we are incapable of forgiving people that have treated us so badly, unless you are there to help us. Our fleshly instincts say to hurt them back like they have hurt us, and to see them suffer because of what they have done. But I know that these fleshly desires are wrong and need to be removed from our lives, in order to follow You completely. For how can we say that we are forgiven when we cannot forgive others. Surely, You will only forgive those that will forgive one another. So, Lord, I pray that an outpouring of the Holy Spirit will come into my life and others in the faith also. Teach us how to live this life for You. Help us put down our pride and arrogance, that we may be lifted up in love and kindness towards people instead. The times that I have forgiven people of their crimes against me is when the Holy Spirit has come into my life more completely. The more I can give away of my own fleshly desires, the more I can live this life to honor You and not men. And if my desires are to see people be saved in Your kingdom, which it is, then no matter who the person is I am there to welcome them home. I am there to rejoice with them. They were lost and had done sinful things, but they are now found and made new In Your presence. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.

Jonah 4
1Jonah 4 (KJV)
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
6 And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Luke 15
2Luke 15 (KJV)
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

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