The Bible is full of people who are a lot like us. At times they don’t like the grace of God. Some act superior to others or get angry over trivialities. Others are spiteful, narcissistic, or disobedient. Some hear a direction from the Lord, but run the other way.
Take Jonah, for instance. He had the privilege of receiving clear instructions from God. ”Go to Nineveh and call out against it” (Jonah 1:2). Now Jonah knew Nineveh had no beaches for downtime after ministry; plus he didn’t like the people. In the melodramatic finale we observe Jonah not only pouting over God’s deliverance of Nineveh, but also becoming so angry over a withered plant that he prays to die.
What issues does Jonah’s story reveal? Did he understand that God’s kindness to rebellious people leads them to repent and turn from their sin? Did he “get it” that the only reason he was alive, on dry land, was because of God’s unfailing love and mercy? Yes, he knew the character of God, but resisted obeying him anyway. “I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster,” he protested to God (Jonah 4:2).
What issues does your life reveal today? What angers dominate you? Where are you choosing to go overboard (metaphorically) rather than obey God’s directives? Will you park in the stinking belly of a big fish or live freely rooted and grounded in the compelling love of Christ?
Oh gracious and merciful God, forgive me for rebelling against your invitations to hard places. Help me to obey you and leave the outcomes to you. Amen.
Go Deeper — You are secure in God’s love through the obedience of one person, Jesus Christ your Lord, according to Romans 5:19. Now live in the Lord’s presence, obeying him daily, knowing that surely goodness and mercy shall pursue you all the days of your life and you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
Photo Credit: Bruno Nascimento