Jonah and the Tree

Many are familiar with Jonah and the big fish. Jonah thought he could run away from God when God asked him go to Nineveh. Instead, he was swallowed by a big fish. Jonah prayed to God, God spoke to the fish and the fish spewed Jonah on to the land. That is not the end of Jonah's story. 

God again asked Jonah to go to Nineveh. When Jonah proclaimed the message that God would destroy Nineveh the people and king of Nineveh repented. God changed his mind when he saw their change of hearts. Jonah was angry. He claimed that because he knew God was a merciful and gracious God, he had not wanted to go to Nineveh the first time. Jonah left the city and pouted. 

Jonah 4:6-8 The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered.   8 When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, "It is better for me to die than to live."  

Wow, Jonah! As God reminded Jonah, Jonah did nothing for the bush. He did not plant it, nurture it, labor over it. It came in the night and died the next. But, God created and cared for the people and animals of Ninevah because they were his children and creation. 

Jonah 4:11 "And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?" 

God used a tree to teach Jonah and work in his life. 







Through What God Has Made

I'm preparing to speak to 6th graders in a couple of weeks. What an intimidating group! I did a little research on their school's website and found they are studying the New Testament this year.   In my recent talks, I've put a lot of emphasis on "the beginning" in Genesis when God creates and declares creation good, just because creation exists. So, this is making me go back through the NT to see what is said about creation. I found this nugget from Romans 1:20:

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. 

What do you think about this verse? Have you spent time in nature reveling in the "things He has made?" 





What does it mean to "keep" the garden?

Genesis 2:15 NRSV

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

The Hebrew word for keep is shamar. Shamar means to “take care of.” When Adam was told to take care of the garden, he was expected to care for it in such a way that it would produce, flourish and repeat.

Calvin DeWitt, an author and professor, says, “Shamar indicates a loving, caring, sustaining kind of keeping.”

 God gave us responsibility to take care of the earth.

 Here are a few ways you can take care of the earth:

  • Avoid pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Plant a native garden.
  • Collect water. 


Click for more tips on how to care for your lawn and garden or visit  Downloadable Tip Sheets  for tips on other areas of your life. 

Click for more tips on how to care for your lawn and garden or visit Downloadable Tip Sheets for tips on other areas of your life.