He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, is this not what I said…? I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:2-3)
He knew the words.
He just didn’t live them.
The words Jonah uses here should be familiar—they’re used over and over again in the Scriptures to describe God’s character. These were probably some of the first verses Jonah memorized in Sunday School.
Yes, I know it wasn’t Sunday School at that time—just go with me here.
I’ll bet that, over the years, Jonah had recited these words with joy, with hope, in supplication, applying them to himself and to his people. He rejoiced over God’s forgiveness—for himself and those he loved.
But…the Ninevites? The oppressors of Israel? Deniers of the Most High God? The wicked ick of the world? It was unacceptable to Jonah that God could apply the same mercy, the same compassion, the same love to them that he so often gave to Israel.
So, Jonah knew the heart of God.
He just didn’t share it.
And you, Beloved? And I?
All those verses we’ve memorized…do they apply to those people out there?
Do we share the heart of God for these people?
Do we even want to?
Happy Wednesday, Beloved.