But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry”
In today’s reading we read the familiar story of Jonah running from God’s command to go reach the lost people of Ninevah, God working in his heart by placing him in the belly of a fish & him deciding that maybe he should listen after all.
A man of God & yet he purposely chose not to listen/obey.
[Jonah was a prophet (possibly even a member of the company of prophets mentioned together with Elisha’s story in 2 Kings 2:3). I found that note quite interesting, I always knew the Bible story but never recognized him actually as a prophet of God.]
How often do we as Christians choose & willfully do things that we know would not honor God or what he would have for us. And yet we do them anyway.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, & my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
All the sudden, we’re dealing with consequences (just like Jonah) & we are begging for forgiveness. Then, after we have tried to do things our way, failed & begged God for help, we’re ready to do it his way. Talk about slow learners. Time & again God shows his patience & love for us as we work through our rebellious nature.
Jonah decides to obey God & then has a fit when the people of Ninevah readily accept God’s love because God is too “gracious & compassionate, slow to anger & abounding in love” Jonah 4:2
It is so ironic how Jonah forgets his own shortcomings & finds other so undeserving.
Sadly to say, as Christians we do that time & again. One sin is worse than another or how do we accept the thought that a criminal is just as worthy of God’s grace as we are. So hard to swallow.
One sobering thought came to me as I was processing this; perhaps as Christians (who should know better) we should be even more accountable for our actions when we purposely choose to defy God than someone who’s never known him.
Wow, I'm so thankful for my God who so mercifully forgives me time & again.