Quick summary on the kings and then we will get to Jonah!
Judah – Amaziah defeats Edom but he takes their gods back with him and worships them. This makes the Lord angry so He allows Israel to defeat Judah. Amaziah is later killed by his own men bc of his turning from the Lord and his son Azariah (Uzziah) becomes king. He follows the Lord, defeats enemies, and builds up Judah. However, out of pride, he goes to the house of the Lord and burns incense, a job solely reserved for the priest. The Lord strikes King Uzziah with leprosy bc of his disobedience and his son, Jotham, becomes the next king of Judah.
Israel – Jehoash dies and Jeroboam II becomes the next king of Israel.
Jonah – The Lord tells prideful, stubborn Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the lost people that they are in danger of destruction by the Lord bc of their wickedness. So Jonah, uninterested in the salvation of the disgusting pagans, gets in a boat and heads in the total opposite direction. But you can’t run from God and Jonah finds this out the hard way when he is thrown overboard and swallowed by a fish. See, if the Lord has plans for you, He is going to make it happen. It is up to you to submit and go willingly or fight Him and go the hard way! 🐳 But the Lord uses everything and He uses stubborn Jonah to display His power to the sailors on the boat and draw them to Him. “Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.”
Unlike Jonah, the Lord has a heart for the lost! So God humbles Jonah in that fish belly and Jonah prays, “I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord”. The Lord tells the fish to spit up Jonah. So a half-hearted Jonah goes to Nineveh and delivers a one liner. “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”. But that is all it took. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.”
Well they weren’t the only ones mourning; so was Jonah. Jonah doesn’t understand that salvation is by grace, including his own salvation. So he is angry that the Lord spared Nineveh. God teaches Jonah a lesson by removing a plant that was giving Jonah relief from the sun. “But the Lord said, “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 one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
God wants everyone to know of Him. That is why later in the Story, Jesus will tell his disciples to go and make disciples of ALL the nations! (Matthew 28:19) Tomorrow we hear from the prophet Amos so keep reading.
(2 Kings 14:1-14, 2 Chronicles 25:1-24, 2 Kings 13:12-13, 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27, 2 Chronicles 25:25-28, 2 Kings 14:17-22, 2 Kings 15:1-5, 2 Chronicles 26:1-21, Jonah 1:1-4:11)