Jonah | Day Nine
By: Taylor Flatt
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I know that you don’t want to admit this and neither do I, but sometimes as girls, we don’t always want the best for the other girls in our lives. Maybe it’s jealousy or comparison or simply being afraid that there isn’t enough good to go around. Whatever the reason is, we aren’t always quick to rejoice with our sisters in Christ when God is gracious to them.
It’s easy to read this next part of the story and be frustrated with Jonah. How could he not be happy for the people of Nineveh? They believed him and they turned from their wicked ways. They cried out to Jonah’s God and begged for mercy. Why in the world would he be upset?
But, maybe we understand a little better than we think.
Ask God to open your eyes today and let’s start in on the last chapter of the story.
Read Jonah 4:1-4.
Why was Jonah upset?
Who does Jonah declare God to be in these verses?
How has God been those things toward the people of Nineveh?
How has God been those things towards Jonah?
Why does Jonah admit that he originally fled to Tarshish?
Do you recognize the starkness of Jonah’s pride against the backdrop of Nineveh’s humility? Jonah, the man of God, is stubborn and prideful while Nineveh, the pagan nation, is humble and teachable. Both have received limitless mercy, grace, and faithful love from God in spite of their mistakes. Both of them have been relentlessly pursued by a God who longs to draw them into a healthy relationship with Him. But, Jonah doesn’t want God to be the God of Nineveh.
Jonah admits that all along he never wanted to go to Nineveh because he never wanted them to be forgiven. He doesn’t tell us why, but truthfully it doesn’t matter. Jonah didn’t want them forgiven. Period. Jonah was prideful and thought that they didn’t deserve God’s mercy as much as he did.
In Jonah’s anger and pride, he must have forgotten the mercy and extravagant grace that he had experienced in the giant fish right before his journey to Nineveh.
This part of Jonah’s story should remind us to think of God’s mercy toward us before being frustrated by God’s mercy toward others.
We don’t deserve God’s mercy any more or any less than everyone else. All of us deserve God’s wrath and every time God extends mercy it is worth celebrating.
You and I need to remember that God’s grace never runs out. Just because God is gracious to your friend does not mean that He will not be gracious to you.
Have you ever struggled to be a happy for another girl when God blesses her or is gracious to her?
Sometimes I think we treat God’s blessings like they are limited, like there is just one to give out and if God gives it to someone else then I don’t get it. But that’s not how God works. He is gracious to all of us, not according to our works, but according to His perfect plan for our good. When a sister receives God’s mercy and His blessing, don’t let yourself feel like you’ve missed out. Count the ways that God has been merciful and gracious to you and then celebrate alongside of your sister in Christ.
Being consistently thankful for God’s graciousness toward you is the best way to be consistently thankful for God’s graciousness toward others.
Take some time to recognize the ways that God has been merciful and gracious to you recently. List them here. Then take time to thank God for all He’s done for you.