28 March 2014

Loving Sinners like Me: Jonah 3 & 4

These are my two favorite chapters of the four in Jonah. In chapters 1 & 2 we discovered extraordinary mercy and now we are seeing this on a deeper level in chapters 3 & 4.

In chapter 3, Jonah heeded the call and journeyed to Ninevah to warn the people of God's plans if they didn't change their ways and turn to God. Instantly, we see the compassion of our loving Savior as he chooses to spare the people who have lived a lifetime of sin. So why was Jonah so angry? Didn't he do exactly what God asked Him to do - warn the people so they could be saved?

Jonah was angry at God for having compassion on such sinners. Not just sinners, mind you, but they were his enemies. I don't think I ever really payed attention to why Jonah got so angry with God until I reflected on it this time. I suddenly saw this characteristic of Jonah in myself and I, too, became angry...with myself.

I think we've all experienced Jonah's anger (I know I have). It is easy to see the sin around us. And it is easy to see the faults in others. We wonder how all these "sinners" keep getting blessing after blessing when we come up empty-handed? We become bitter, disappointed, frustrated, angry. Then, we begin to question our motives. We start our rant: we sit ourselves down, cross our arms and let out a big sigh, feeling sorry for ourselves. And then we wait for God to give us the "right" answer.

I have been a Jonah...and sometimes, I still am.

Just like God showed Jonah, I shouldn't be praying doom on my enemies and sinners who are just like me. I should be interceding on their behalf. Loving them when they don't love themselves. Carrying them when they don't have the strength to crawl. I should be thanking God for His compassion, His love for His people, His forgiveness. Because when it's all said and done, these chapters were about saving people from a lifetime of pain and agony, these chapters were about second chances, and God chose Jonah for this journey.
I'm thankful for a God of second chances and who sees what I can be and not what I am.

Ezekiel 33:11
"Say to them, As I live, declares the LORD GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; ..."

This post is a link up with She Reads Truth.


  1. Just found your blog from over at "Sunday Charm" and I'm so glad I did - the interesting thing is that my husband and I LITERALLY just had a conversation about this story in the Bible. We can seriously learn so much from Jonah. Thanks for sharing, this is a good post! I'm excited to be following along now! I love making new blogging buddies, especially ones like you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! You're right, the story of Jonah really does teach us a lot. I never realized how many characteristics of him that I've seen in myself and it's eye-opening! So thankful you're following along. New blogger friends are always a joy!