Jonah 4:9-11 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.” And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
Jonah sounds like a pouting little brat, but how often do we do similar things? Have you ever had someone that just annoyed you so bad and their ungodly rebellious ways just griped you to the point that you didn’t want to see them repent and get their hearts right with God because you just didn’t really want to see anything good happen in their lives? Sounds hateful but I’ve seen it happen and have had to question my own judgmental attitude over the years because we are human and often want “our judgement” to fall on others instead of God’s everlasting grace and love.
What would happen to us if God poured out His wrath and judgement on everyone the way others wanted it done? Would any of us be left? What if God handled the restoration of people who have taken a path of sin and want to repent the way most churches do these days? What if God poured out His discipline on you the way you want Him to discipline your spouse, children, coworkers, in-laws and don’t forget the guy who cut you off in traffic or the lady who cut in line at the grocery store?
The point is that God has a plan, not just for your life but for all of those people around you. It is our duty to pray for others and not just for God to “fix” them to meet our expectations but to bring people and things into their lives to help them grow into knowing Him. It is a lie straight from Hell to think that all the judgement we want brought on the world around us is going to make the world a better place! The only thing that will make your life and the lives of those you love better is for the people around you to repent and become more like Christ! What would the world look like if we were more helpful in restoring each other and walking with each other through our struggles and praying for God’s favor, mercy and grace on each other instead of His wrath? Trust me, if my family and friends are praying anything for me I would hope it is for God’s favor on my life and His everlasting mercy and grace to rain down on me, not His fury, so why would I pray for anything other than that for them?
Start today and ask God to show you any areas that maybe you need to reconsider your attitude. Ask Him to help you to pray for those annoying people in your life and those who seem so deep in their own sin that it is hard to imagine them ever repenting. Ask Him to help you to “help” where you can, encourage where you can and pray all the time for them to become more like Him. What difference might it make in your life if they truly came to live like Christ?
God’s point to Jonah was that Jonah was upset because of the inconvenience of losing the plant that brought him shade and yet he hadn’t nurtured it or grown it and yet he was angry also with God for not destroying the people of Ninevah because he didn’t think they deserved God’s grace but God was looking down as the creator of the 120,000 people who lived there and all of their animals and His hearts desire was to save them and bless them – not destroy them. Is there something you find more important in your life than the repentance of a life coming to Christ? Your revenge on that person for all they have said and done to you maybe? Let it go, whatever IT is, let it go and choose to ask God for His love and attitude toward those who are driving you crazy and see what peace and blessing it will bring to your own life to just not even have to fight it anymore. God will bless you for it!
Quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…. it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”