Crossroads

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Ephesians 3:1-21 I pray that you [may be] rooted and established in [Christ’s] love. (v. 7 NIV) The central figure in this story is God. Jonah is fascinating (“villains” often are), but not nearly as interesting as the character of God revealed in his interactions with Jonah. The big fish interests people of all ages (like all monsters and miracles), but its role isn’t as astounding as what God does. Nineveh was important in the ancient world (this story …

God: One More Time with Jonah

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 4:5-11; Romans 2:1-11 You have no excuse, O man . . . who judges. (Rom. 2:1) Jonah, think about what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you’re saying to me. You’re concerned about yourself, especially “your” vine. Yet, you care nothing for Nineveh. Think about what its destruction would mean. Can you imagine 120,000 men, women, and children losing their lives, plus all the animals? And all you care about is being comfortable while you wait, hoping to …

Jonah: Stubborn to the Bitter End?

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 4:5-11; Ephesians 4:29-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger. (Eph. 4:31 NIV) I know the fire and brimstone aren’t coming, but I’m staying just in case I’m wrong and God does what I want. Okay, if I’m going to sit here for a month, I’ll need some shelter. Not much shade on this hill. Thank God for that vine! Look how fast it grows! Wouldn’t you know! I got up this morning and the vine is …

God: Sovereign Lord

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 4:1-4; Romans 9:19-25 Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? (Rom. 9:20) Lord, shall we give Jonah his wish? He deserves to die for his bad attitude alone. No. True, he deserves to die, but so do all people. But, Jonah is so open and horribly wrong. He is critical to your face! I told you he has courage. It’s misapplied, self-righteous, and foolish, but nonetheless courage. He still thinks he’s right to be angry …

Jonah: An Angry, Merciless Man

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 4:1-4; Romans 9:6-18 God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy. (Rom. 9:18 NIV) All my fears have come true. It’s clear now God isn’t going to punish Nineveh. How could he not keep his word? I know I got the message right: “Forty days. Then . . . Boom!” Well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. They’re “repenting,” or so they say, and God is going to spare them. Why? Because of his compassion …

God: A Father Who Loves His Children

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 3:4-10; John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world. (John 3:16) Lord, the people of Nineveh are responding to Jonah’s message. Much more than Jonah’s voice is at work. I don’t desire that any should perish, including Nineveh. I have no pleasure in anyone’s death. My warnings of judgment always come with a call to repentance and life. Jonah didn’t say that. No, but I did, to their hearts, and they’ve responded. Their repentance isn’t just an emotional …