June 19 – Disappointed in a Gracious God – Jonah 4
Today’s passage is staged by the last verse in chapter 3. God withheld his judgment on Nineveh and gave them mercy. As we begin chapter 4, Jonah is angry at God’s mercy and grace that is exercised for the Assyrians in Nineveh. Jonah reveals the real reason that he disobeyed God when God told him to go to Nineveh. Remember, Jonah jumped on a boat headed for Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh. Jonah said the real reason for his rebellion was that he did not want God to give mercy and grace to the people of Nineveh. I can feel for Jonah as the Assyrians in Nineveh were a wicked and cruel people. They would torture man, woman, and child; mutilating them in unimaginable ways. If any country deserved the wrath of God it would have been Nineveh. Just because Jonah had a reason to be disobedient and then angry at God’s grace; did not mean Jonah had an excuse. He was not justified in his disobedience and anger. In today’s society, we are justifying a criminal’s crime because of the reason he claims. Maybe it is a circumstance he faced as a child, or an injustice he believes someone else has done to him; however, this does not excuse him of the crime! Just as our reasons for disobeying God do not excuse us of our sin.
Aren’t you glad God does exercise mercy and grace on those that do not deserve it? Praise the Lord He does! I am so glad that I am a recipient of His Grace!