2013-01-14 - What Would Jonah Say?
But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die." (Jonah 4:9)
I had no desire to go to Nineveh, and I did not keep this fact a secret. The people of Nineveh didn't deserve God's forgiveness. Sure, their repentance was genuine, but what's to say they won't go back to their evil ways?
God didn't seem to understand why I was angry. That's not what I needed to hear, so I sulked and waited to see what would happen to Nineveh. I sat underneath a vine, to shield me from the hot sun. It provided great relief, but soon a worm chewed the vine, and I lost my protection from the sun rays. I got faint and again wished I was dead. God asked if it I had a right to be angry about the vine. Yes, I had a right to my feelings. I thought I deserved protection from the scorching heat.
God pointed out that I did not do anything to care for the vine, but I was still concerned about the vine, something that by nature has a temporary life span. Just as the Lord had a right to tend to His people, I suppose it was not fair of me to begrudge people from experiencing an encounter of God. The Ninevites needed God, just as I did.
Lord, Help me not feel abandoned when I don't get the answer I wanted. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.