Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jonah: The Vine and the City

Jonah and the Gourd Vine (1999), by Jack Baumgartner,

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, ‘Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.’”  –Jonah 4:1-2, NIV

Jonah: The Vine and the City

Jonah, the pouting prophet,
Knew what God would do
If God would spare him,
God would spare Nineveh too.

Jonah was angry and indignant.
He despised this Ninevite people.
And knew what their salvation meant.
Jonah was at his threshold. He was spent.

“Isn’t this what I said, Lord?” Jonah prayed.
“I knew you were gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and abounding in love . . .
This is why I tried to run away!”

“Is it right for you to be angry?” the Lord replied.
Jonah just sat there wishing he had died.
God gave Jonah a shady plant to sit under and morn.
But when God made it die, he wished he had never been born.

“Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” God said.
“You care more for it than you do for the people.”
God continued, “If I could spare you the vine,
Should I not also spare this City of mine?”

© January 7, 2014, Robbie Pruitt

“The Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?’”  –Jonah 4:10-11, NIV

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