Big Fish…Big Attitude – Bothered by Grace

 

But Jonah thought this was utterly wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Come on, Lord! Wasn’t this precisely my point when I was back in my own land? This is why I fled to Tarshish earlier! I know that you are a merciful and compassionate God, very patient, full of faithful love, and willing not to destroy. At this point, Lord, you may as well take my life from me, because it would be better for me to die than to live.”

The Lord responded, “Is your anger a good thing?” But Jonah went out from the city and sat down east of the city. There he made himself a hut and sat under it, in the shade, to see what would happen to the city (Jonah 4:1-5, Common English Bible).

One more time and then we will move on. If you would have asked me a few days ago I would have told you I would be on this passage one day. That being said, every time I have written a post on this text that post has led to another. We will see what happens today.

This text has Jonah throwing a bit of a temper tantrum.  As we all know, he didn’t want to go to Nineveh and ran the other way to Tarshish. He got thrown over the side of the boat he was on during bad weather, eaten by a giant fish, regurgitated on the beach and then went around telling Nineveh that God was going to destroy the city. The citizens and their king repent and pray and God decides not to destroy them. What does Jonah do? He pouts. He knew God was loving and forgiving and knew this would happen so he is upset that God put him through all this and then God didn’t follow through on the threat.

It brings to mind a question. Why is it that so many of us, so much of the time, have so little interest in God bestowing grace on other people? What God is doing in the lesson for Nineveh is grace. Of that, there should be no doubt. And for his part, Jonah would rather see them destroyed.

Think about Jesus’ parable of the workers in the field. At the end of the day, when it was time to settle up with the workers, those who had been in the field all day were angry because the owner paid everyone the same amount, even those who had only worked in the field for an hour. They are angry over grace.

We see this happening around us and it happens a lot. How can God forgive that person? There is an old joke. A person makes a profession of faith shortly before death, so many are far from happy to find out this person is as worthy as any of us to gain eternal life in Jesus Christ. In other words, we are bothered because someone received God’s grace they didn’t deserve.

I say this. Praise God they did. Praise God they did because none of us are worthy of God’s grace. And the good news is, God gives it to us anyway.

Oh, and I didn’t feel inspired again by this text so I think tomorrow we will indeed be moving on.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

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