Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 172

The Value of Souls Versus One's Reputation, June 14

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Jonah 1:2.

When the people of Nineveh humbled themselves before God, and cried to Him for mercy, He heard their cry. “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 Jonah revealed that he did not value the souls in that wretched city. He valued his reputation, lest they should say he was a false prophet.... Now when he sees the Lord exercise His compassionate attributes and spare the city that had corrupted its ways before Him, Jonah does not co-operate with God in His merciful design. He has not the people's interests in view. It does not grieve him that so large a number must perish who have not been educated to do right. Listen to his complaint:

“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 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.”

Then the Lord gave Jonah an object lesson. He “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.” ... “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: And should I not 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?”

In the history of Nineveh there is a lesson that you should study carefully.... You must know your duty to your fellow beings who are ignorant and defiled, and who need your help.—Manuscript 164, 1897.

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