Today, I am reading and commenting on Jonah 1-4and Micah 1-2.
There are many themes woven through the Book of Jonah. Jonah tried to run from God’s will for his life and discovered that this led to disaster, both for himself and those around him. However, he also discovered that as long as we are alive we can repent. If we acknowledge our sins, turn from them, and seek to do God’s will, God will give us another chance to serve Him. Then the passage illustrates a message which God gave to Ezekiel: if God has determined to bring death and destruction upon people because of their sin and they turn from their sin, He will turn aside that death which He had promised them. The final point of the story, and the reason this book is in the Bible, is about our attitude towards sinners. We should not desire to see sinners punished for their sins. The purpose of telling sinners about their sin should not be to gloat about their coming suffering. Rather, we should wish that sinners turn from their sin and come to God, thus avoiding His anger. We should tell them of their sin and the destruction it will bring them because we love them and want them to live.
Micah begins by warning the capital cities of Israel and Judah (Samaria and Judah) that they will soon face destruction. He warns that those who cheat and lie and twist the law to get what they want will pay the price. His condemnation is mostly directed at the ruling elites, but there is an element to which it applies to everyone. Look around, rather than wanting justice to apply even the common people want to manipulate things so that they get favors at others’ expense. The rich and connected use their wealth and power to unjustly increase their wealth. However, the poor and weak do not seek even-handed laws and justice. They seek for the government to use its force to take the wealth of others for their own benefit. Instead of listening to the words of prophets calling them to turn from their sins and follow God’s commands the people, both wealthy and poor, do what they can to silence them.