Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nobody Said You'd Like It

Everybody knows the story of Jonah and the big fish. God tells Jonah to go to the people of Nineveh. Jonah did not want to obey God, so he fled. Of course, God is in control as always, and Jonah ended up doing it anyway.

But this is the part that I love. Jonah goes, God moves in a powerful way, and the people of Nineveh repent. Jonah was thrilled to see God use him like that. Wait--no he wasn't. "But Jonah was greatly displeased (emphasis mine) and became angry. He prayed to the Lord, 'O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.'" (Jonah 4:1-3) Jonah didn't want to see the people of Nineveh saved. He wanted to see God's wrath come down on them. Apparently, they weren't his pals.

Nowhere does the Bible ever say that Jonah saw the light on this one. The last words we have recorded of Jonah speaking are, "I am angry enough to die." (Jonah 4:9) Too bad. God requires obedience whether we like it or not.

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