There were two men who decided to purchase and build a homestead without taking out any loans or going into debt. Both men saved a meager amount and bought a spit of land. One man bought a large piece of land, spending almost all he had with barely enough left to buy a small tent to live in while he began building his home. The other man bought a modest spit of land and used the remainder of his money to buy a yurt to live in while building his homestead. A few years passed, and both men worked diligently towards saving for materials and building their homes with spare time. The man who bought a tent, in time, gave up, tired and unable to continue living in a tent he got a loan to finish building his homestead. The man with the Yurt was able to persevere in his work and diligently worked, saved, and built his homestead without borrowing.
We all know about the prophet Jonah. In apologetics, Jonah is sort of the “Don’t ya think believing a whale swallowed a man is where we should draw the line?” book in God’s Holy Word. The fact of the matter is, whether or not the historical account of Jonah is useful for story telling, it is also 100% true. Jonah got swallowed by a great fish. Jonah preached in Ninevah. The people in Ninevah got healed. Jonah got angry.
The idea of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish tends to overshadow a very important, many very important messages and life lessons that aid us in evangelizing, in relationships with strange nations, and a relationship with The Savior. One lesson is that God can work in spite of what’s going on in the heart of the worker. That’s right, in spite, of the worker’s heart. You see, Jonah’s job was to manumit the people of Ninevah from under the authority of sin. Jonah’s boss, The Savior, wanted to disenthrall Ninevah; But, He sent Jonah. Jonah hated Nineveh. Jonah hated the people of Nineveh. Yet, in spite of all this God forced Jonah to go to that city, prophecy, and have a hand in saving the people of Nineveh.
When the people of the city repented, Jonah went out to the edge of the city where God provided a broom tree for him to rest under. Jonah was elated about that broom tree. It was because of the shade that the broom tree provided. Jonah would have rested under the shadow of that tree but God then sent a worm to destroy the tree as a real scorcher was on the horizon. The hot sun beat on Jonah that day and he was tired, angry, obdurate. Jonah went to bed that night knowing the following day he would be protected in the shadow of that tree. I wonder if his belly was full with much food?
The book ends with the young prophet being asked a question.
God had caused a vehement east wind to blow on Jonah while the sun beat on him and Jonah grew faint and wished to die! “It is better for me to die than to live.” said Jonah
“Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” YHVH asked Jonah.
“It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”
“You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than 120,000 persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left, and also much livestock?