We’re on a tour of the minor prophets for the rest of the summer: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. You can join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Whereas the other minor prophets we’ve been reading have prophesied to God’s people in Israel, God sent the prophet Jonah to deliver His message to a pagan nation. The message in Jonah is repentance, forgiveness, and salvation for all.
Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 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. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But 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. 11 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?”
God Provides | Shiree King
Each of these three verses lists something God provided Jonah: a leafy plant, a worm, and a scorching east wind. God provides. The Bible makes that abundantly clear (at least 169 times!). But God often provides different from what we expect. Isaiah 55:8-9 points out that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. God provides for our needs AND our wants. He provides to bring us comfort and peace, but He also provides to teach us lessons and doesn’t let us settle for a “second best” way of living. God provides us more of Himself. John Piper has asked, “What is the deepest root of your joy? What God gives to you? Or what God is to you?”
When it comes down to it, I, like Jonah, am selfish. I have preconceived notions of what I “need” or how God should work in my life or other peoples’ lives. The last few weeks seem to be filled with a barrage of bad news. It seems like everyone I have talked to is experiencing some kind of heartbreak. It is hard to see God’s provision in the midst of these times, but He wants us to trust Him. Do we trust Him? Can I accept His provision on His terms, knowing He has a greater purpose and plan? Can I trust His promise to work all things out for good (Romans 8:28)?
Dear God, Thank You for Your provision. Thank You that Your thoughts and ways are higher than mine. Thank You for Your promise to work all things out for good. Down the road, I look forward to seeing just how Your provision was best in each of these circumstances that are heavy on my heart. Thank You for being trustworthy. You are good, even when Your goodness is hard to see. I trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.