|But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the Lord, "O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. -Jonah 4:1-2
Jesus says throughout the New Testament that you ought to love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you. He says that if someone slaps you, you ought to turn the other cheek. How does the make you feel? A Christian was once asked if he would forgive Osama Bin Laden or Hitler if he ever met them. He was speechless; he said that he could not answer the question honestly. What would you have said?
Jonah received a calling from God to preach to the Ninevites so that they could repent. He was asked to love his enemies and bless those who cursed him. Like many of us would have done, he was hesitant and ran away. After many trials from God, he eventually responded to God's call, and to his surprise, they repented and turned to God. Jonah was upset about this, because he expected God to destroy them. He was even more upset, in fact he was infuriated with God because God forgave them. After this, God used an illustration to show Jonah that he needed to develop an attitude like God’s toward his enemies. God spoke directly to his heart through his different experiences. This book of Jonah tells an incredible story of the power, love and mercy of God, the miraculous repentance of a sinful nation, and an even bigger change in an unforgiving man, Jonah.
If you take nothing else from the book of Jonah, I hope that you realize that you can never run away from God or from your calling. He never gives up on you, and no matter how hard you fight, he remains relentless. He is a merciful God that will not be questioned by any man, and his motives cannot be fathomed by any human comprehension. When God calls, no matter what state you or your life is in, be quick to repent and heed to his calling. Be willing to let go of grudges and past hurts. If you find this difficult to do, just imagine where you would be today if God decided to hold on to his grudges against you.
God is a God that will be served! When he has a calling on your life, he ensures AT ALL COST that you heed. God is telling you today that, “We can either do this the easy or the hard way.” Brethren, the ball is in your court.
Lord, please teach us how to serve you and help us to forgive as you forgive. Teach us to love like you love, to walk like you walk, and to listen when you call. Help us be in the light as you are in the light.
Stay blessed and spread the word.