Jonah was a prophet, oo-ooh!
but he really never got it, sad but true!
and if you watch it you can spot it, a-doodley-doo!
he did not get the point!
~ Jonah, a Veggie Tales movie~
Love me some Veggie Tales. Even with no little ones left in my house (my youngest is 13), I still remember all the songs. And as I was reading the book of Jonah, this song was running through my head.
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he got up and went in the opposite direction. He bought a ticket to Tarshish, hoping to escape from the Lord. Shouldn't a prophet know you can't run from God? (smiles) You know the story of how God sent a violent storm, the crew threw Jonah overboard, a big fish swallowed him, then spit him out on the shore. It's the rest of the story that really struck me.
Jonah finally makes it to Nineveh and tells them, “Forty more days, and Nineveh will be overturned.” (Jonah 3:4). Jonah probably thought, “Job done, now I'll sit back and watch God's judgment.” But the people of Nineveh took this warning seriously. The king told everyone to fast and pray. When God saw their change of heart, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.
Now, here's where my point comes in. What was Jonah's reaction to the change of plans? He threw a fit. He didn't want the Ninevites to be forgiven. He pronounced God's judgment on them and he wanted to see God follow through.
Did Jonah forget that God had just relented and rescued him?
Wasn't Jonah guilty of sinning too?
Jonah was grateful when God saved him, but angry when God saved Nineveh.
Before we judge Jonah, or David, or the Israelites, or our neighbor or that guy who doesn't seem to know how to drive; before we climb up on our soapbox, stop and think. Have I ever messed up and needed forgiveness? Do I deserve God's mercy and grace? Am I more deserving of God's love than anyone else?