The Jonah Generation
Who is the Jonah generation? What exactly does this statement mean?
Before we can answer these questions, we must look at the characteristics of Jonah.
Jonah was a prophet of God, and we know that a prophet declared the word of God. A prophet is the mouthpiece of God in the earth.
The Lord gave Jonah a commission to preach repentance to the wicked city of Nineveh or else they would receive the judgment of God.
However, Jonah’s desire got in the way of his mission. He did not want any salvation for the people of Nineveh. He preferred to see them punished for their crimes.
Pride consumed Jonah’s heart in believing that he could put his wishes before the Lord’s.
Deception follows pride!
So, Jonah deceived himself into thinking that he could stop the plan of God. When you deceived yourself, you become foolish and make irrational decisions.
Jonah foolishly thought that he could run away from God and he tried it by boarding a ship heading for Tarshish—the opposite direction of Nineveh—across the sea.
A prideful heart will also produce disobedience and stubbornness. Jonah’s life took a downward slide until he eventually found himself inside the belly of a huge fish.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalms 139:7-10)
When Jonah found himself in trouble, he recognized his mistakes and cried out to God in despair.
The Lord was gracious enough to forgive Jonah and directed the fish to return him to the shore. A grateful and relieved Jonah was ready to obey the Lord. But, the story did not end here.
And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4)
Jonah preached a few words of repentance to a corrupt and vile nation and every single person from the rich to the poor, from the king to the ordinary people all repented of their sins, and God forgave them and turned from His wrath and healed their land.
Jonah received mercy from God, and the people of Nineveh also received God’s mercy. But Jonah had no compassion on the people of Nineveh.
He would rather the Lord destroy the people even though they had repented.
The Jonah generation
The Jonah generation preached the gospel of salvation to a sinful world but prefer to see the wicked perish in an everlasting burning hell where the fire cannot quench, and the worms do not die.
The Jonah generation categorized sin and consider some sins more devious than others.
The Jonah generation is prideful, stubborn and disobedient. These demonic spirits lead to deception and foolish behavior.
God is not pleased with the behavior of the Jonah generation.
We need to repent!
God is pleading with us to:
- Wash and be clean (Isaiah 1:18; 1 John 1:8-10).
- Return unto Him (Zechariah 1:3).
- Love and forgive each other (John 13:34-3; Matthew 6:14-15).
- Renew our mind with the word of God (Romans 12:2).
- Receive the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Finally, as the Lord rebuked an unmerciful Jonah, so is He rebuking us.
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?” (Jonah 4:10-11)
Let us consider our ways and begin to build our body as God’s holy temple.
Are you part of the Jonah or Joshua generation?