Reading through the Bible together
Isn’t it interesting that this great evangelist walked away from the very people he called to repentance? Not only did he head to the hills but he basically argued with God that He should be more unforgiving. He actually got “very angry” because of the Lord’s mercy!
What was he angry about? He had his own preconceived ideas of how God should operate—and this was not it! Next he wanted to die because things were not going according to his personal plan.
How many of us fit into this same mold? “God, I would rather die than submit to Your will for me.” I hear this very thing from older people who have outlasted their own expected end. I may end up, someday, being one of those who say, “God, just let me die.” But we are not talking about a man on his death-bed and full of pain; we are looking at the life of a cranky, unresponsive prophet, who was not getting his own way. He wanted to fashion God into his own image—after his likeness.
But here is the good news: Through all four chapters, Jonah continues talking to God. He argues with God, he gets angry with God, and the book closes with God still speaking with him—despite Jonah’s anger, nastiness, and lack of concern for all one hundred twenty thousand people in the city.
This should be a lesson for you and me—let’s keep the lines of communication open with God and He will keep them open with us. The Lord would much rather have you be angry and talk with Him than not talk to Him at all. Cutting communication is the number one tool in the Devil’s play-book.
The book of Jonah is very strange unless you look at it from the standpoint of God’s amazing love, grace, and longsuffering toward His creatures. What a God we serve!
We should wake up each morning and thank Him for His graciousness toward us. The preacher, Glenn Coon, would tell audiences that they should praise God for ten things each morning. He would then quip, “If you can’t think of 10 things to praise God for, then hold your breath for 5 minutes and try again!”
You don’t need to be a negative Jonah, but you do need to keep the communication going and the praises flowing. After all, God has plans of saving many people through your life of dedication.
Vice President for Advancement
Adventist World Radio