|Read Jonah 4|
“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 what I was so quick to flee to Tarshish.” –Jonah 4:1-2
Jonah 4 paints the picture of a proud, arrogant, uncharitable spirit man who was angry with God for forgiving Nineveh. He thought that he was going to the Ninevites to declare and witness their demise, but instead they repented, and God gave salvation. He ignored the fact that he had just been used as a vessel through which the glory of God’s divine mercy was shown. How can anyone be angry at that which is for the glory of God or the advancement of his kingdom? This was Jonah’s sin, and this has also been my sin many times… Whenever I see people I don’t like get delivered or blessed, I get envious because I don’t think they deserve it.
Who are we to judge what another’s punishment should be? What about the logs in our own eyes? These are a few of the questions I would have loved to ask Jonah. He obviously didn’t think about the salvation he had just received. I guess it was okay for him to get saved, and no one else. Furthermore, Jonah stayed in the city to see what would happen, as if he was waiting for them to fail so that God could destroy them. Have you ever done this? Even through all of Jonah’s foolishness and childlike behaviours, God still remained patient with him.
In vs. 6, God provided Jonah with a vine to protect him from the sun and winds. But after a while, he provided a worm to destroy it, and then he also brought scorching sun and strong winds. Jonah was angry at this…But in good ol’ Job’s words, “the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.” I think the point that God was trying to make here was that the vine died was because Jonah didn’t take care of it. The same way, the Ninevites, who God described as not knowing their left hand from their right, would have died if God didn’t care for them, and Jonah had no right to be angry at that.
So brethren, if you ever find yourself being envious of someone’s blessings or expecting another’s demise, remember the story of Jonah and the lesson God taught him. It is not your place to ever judge anyone or question God’s reasoning for doing the things he does. He is God!
Stay blessed and spread the word.