You Pity the Plant

Posted by Pastor Les on

 “And the LORD said, ‘You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?’” The comparison between Jonah’s pity for the plant and God’s pity for the Ninevites is striking. Jonah is put in the place of God and the plant in the place of the people of Nineveh. God took pity on the Ninevites. Jonah took pity on the plant. The best Jonah could do was feel sorry for the now withered plant – and be mad at God. The “best” God could do was to pardon and spare the people of Nineveh – and challenge His prophet to see the stubbornness and foolishness of his heart. God could have responded in any number of ways to make Jonah face his bigotry. He chose to back His prophet into a corner and make him answer His question. There was only one answer and it rested in the hands of a sovereign God. I don’t always find delight in the way God works in the lives of certain others, but I have no right to question His authority to exercise pity. He has certainly extended His pity to me – often!


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