Jonah On The Rollercoaster

And 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 it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

Jonah 3:10-4:1

I love the book of Jonah.  You could study it for a year and never understand everything in it.  Jonah is such a great picture of us as Christians.  Too often our lives mirror that of Jonah’s (though maybe not quite as drastic).  We run from the Lord and disobey Him when He tells us to do something that we don’t want to do.  Then we turn to Him, cry out for mercy, ask for forgiveness and get things right.  We then obey the Lord.  When then stumble and fall in some other area and are forced to start the process all over again.  I don’t know about you, but that unfortunately describes me more often than I would like to admit.

In the book of Jonah, we are now at another part of the roller coaster of Jonah’s life.  He had failed God, been swallowed by the great fish, repented in the belly of the fish, got recommissioned, preached to the Ninevites, and saw a miraculous turning to God by an entire heathen city.  One would think that after all of that, Jonah would be the happiest man in the world.  And, one would be wrong.

It blows my mind that this amazing change in Nineveh and this amazing display of mercy and grace by the Lord would “displease Jonah exceedingly.”  “He was very angry.”  It was not just that he was a little depressed or worn down and having a bad day.  He was actually “very angry.”  I would blast Jonah for this unbelievable display of “hard-heartedness.”  But then I realize that I have probably done the same thing at one point or another.  Let me say it like this:

Have we ever physically done what the Lord wanted us to do, but with a rotten attitude?  Jonah “technically” obeyed God.  He went to Nineveh and he gave them the message.  But he had a heart problem that was soon uncovered.  Does that ever describe us?  That stings me a little.  I think we all have a little Jonah in us.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks, Ben

    “Have we ever physically done what the Lord wanted us to do, but with a rotten attitude? Jonah “technically” obeyed God. He went to Nineveh and he gave them the message. But he had a heart problem that was soon uncovered. Does that ever describe us? That stings me a little. I think we all have a little Jonah in us.”

    Oh Boy … Jonah playing God is no different from us, is it? Interesting how we sometimes think we can do a better job than the One who created us.

    Thankful for His ‘new every morning’ mercies!

    Blessings,
    ann

    Reply

  2. Thankful with Ann for those mercies! So often He has to talk to me about having a right heart attitude. The first time He told me about it, I thought . . .”I can do this! No problem!” Ah . . .years later He still needs to remind me and give me adjustments.
    God bless you, Ben, as you let Him work in and through you!

    Reply

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