The Story of a GOURD- The Wonders of God’s Grace and Mercy

And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief.  So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. (Jonah 4:6)

“And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.”  (Jonah 4:6)

One of my favorite Bible stories as a child and even now, is the story about Jonah.  I marvel at how God spoke to the obedient large fish which some say was a whale, but no matter. Just as great a lesson is the story about the GOURD. . .

When I take my grandchildren to the nearby park, we enjoy walking between the small plots in the community garden where we see many flowers, fruits and vegetables and smell the different herbs like basil and rosemary.   One particular day I pointed out a gourd hanging under its thick vine and told them the story of what happened to Jonah when he took God’s message to Nineveh.

The story lesson about the gourd is that of God extending His grace and mercy to Jonah and to us as sinners.  It is a story of God’s loving kindness and tender mercies toward us as individuals, a story about 120,000 people whose leader led his people to repentance of their sins and averted wholesale destruction and judgment of their city, Nineveh in 862 B.C.  It is a story of HOPE for anyone, any family, community, church, village, city, state or nation who will repent of their sinful ways, wicked living and moral decadence and instead, choose to OBEY GOD.

Jonah 3:8-4:11  King James Version (KJV)

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

1And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

God had GRACE on the one who pitied the gourd instead of the Ninevites. He extended His Grace and long-suffering to Jonah who did not pity the people who would have perished, had they not repented.  God had the LAST WORD:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

God is a God of SECOND CHANCES; He saw us in our sins and gave us another chance to accept His Grace.  He is the Judge of all men, but will be merciful to all those who repent of their sins and turn to Him.

Let us learn from God’s example to also extend God’s Love, Grace and Mercy  to the unsaved outside of the sheepfold.

Jesus said,

John 10:14-16 King James Version (KJV)

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

John 17:20-24  King James Version (KJV)

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

MORE PHOTOS: 

https://heulu.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/birds-garden-and-jonah/

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About Shofar/Liz

I have a Christian blogsite-'God's Enduring Love' at https://heulu.wordpress.com with 'Words of Encouragement from the Bible and Liz's Journal'. Also, an art blogsite-'Art with Aloha' at http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com 'A Journal About Art and Life. I use acrylic and oil paints, graphite pencils and pen and ink.

Posted on October 13, 2014, in Enduring Love, Hearing From God And His Word, Teachings and Exhortations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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