Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Misplaced Anger

Jonah 4:9
(9) But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die."

This is the end of Jonah's pity party for himself. He really wanted to see God rain fire down on Nineveh, but they repented and God relented. He preached his message, but he didn't really want for them to believe it. Instead he wanted the hated Ninevites to perish.

I'm very glad that God doesn't look at us the way we look at each other. I'm sure that there are plenty of folks who wish that I had never believed the gospel. If we turn it around it gets even more interesting. Suppose that Osama Bin Laden repents and believes in Christ. How would we react? Would we treat him with compassion or would we have Jonah's attitude?

I'd like to think that I would accept him as a brother, but I'm not sure. I don't trust my heart enough to say one way or the other. I also would hope that I could get past my own selfish needs and look to the salvation of his soul as more important. Jonah was more concerned about his comfort than he was about the salvation of Nineveh. I have to ask myself about my own approach to the world. Do I care more about my comfort or about reaching the lost with the gospel?

It's easy to read this passage and look down my nose at Jonah. What I find is that the passage can also be a mirror that convicts me of the same attitude at times.


tom sheepandgoats said...

um.....actually, we take comfort in this passage of Jonah. We, who have long been preaching like Jonah, who are always expecting this system to end any second now....yes, we take comfort in Jonah, for as long as God holds off in destruction, there are people who will benefit.

Jason said...

I completely agree. However, I think Jonah serves as a model of a wrong attitude, don't you?

tom sheepandgoats said...

A human one. After all, God did turn the tables on him. He said he was going to destroy them all, then didn't do it. Took some time for Jonah to get his head around that.

Jason said...

That's not exactly how I read it. I see it more as Jonah being disappointed that the people actually listened to his message and repented.