Our youngest Ephesus School students learned a new Hebrew word. “Manah” means “to appoint.” In the book of Jonah, at least in the English, God “appoints” a large fish to swallow Jonah, a plant to grow, a worm to devour it, and a sultry east wind to bring Jonah to his senses. Unlike the defiant, willful Jonah, these creatures do the Lord’s bidding. God appoints the fish, plant, worm, and wind, to stop Jonah in his tracks and to shake him from his merciless anger.
To reinforce the two Hebrew words we’ve learned, “shuv” (to repent) and “manah” (to appoint), the children played a game, much like the scenario of Jonah. One child hid the cross. The cross, or God’s will, is what we must seek. Much like the Ninevites, or Jonah, or any of us who is blinded by our own selfishness, another child was blind-folded and bid to seek the cross. Another child cried out, “Shuv!” whenever the blind child was headed in the wrong direction. If the blind-folded child became hopelessly lost, the voice cried out, “Manah!” and appointed another to take the blind by the hand and lead him to the cross.
“Do you do well to be angry?” Do you feel justified in your judgment? Let us consider all the inconveniences of life as situations appointed by God to shake us from our self-righteous indignation.