“And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death”
“I’ve had a few arguments with people,” comedian Buddy Hackett once confessed, “but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”
From the text, forty days had passed and God’s judgment did not fall upon the city of Nineveh as prophesied by Jonah because they repented. God still requires repentance or complete turning away from and forsaking all sins, asking for forgiveness and cleansing through Christ and receiving Him as Saviour from everyone today. The repentance of Nineveh should have cause joy for Jonah as a missionary. Strangely, he was greatly disappointed. He had made himself a shady booth from which he could enjoy the spectacle of its destruction, perhaps like Sodom and Gomorrah. Jonah should have got a knock but the Lord overlooked his negativity and provided a gourd to provide him a shed. When it suddenly withered, exposing him to the terrible heat of the sun, his anger was aggravated. But God had taught him lessons on forgiveness and compassion.
Jonah’s angry reaction to Nineveh’s repentance was ridiculous. God’s question to him should have served to call his attention to the utter sinfulness of his anger, which was a reflection of Israel’s pride and prejudice as a nation that made them assume that God owed them blessing and reserved judgment for their enemies. Inbred sins, like anger, jealously, malice, etc. can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus through earnest prayer of faith.
Saved and sanctified believers are filled with Christ-like love for all people. So, we must not shut the door of grace against those we label ‘unbelievers’ but go out with a positive attitude to preach the message of salvation by grace through faith to them. And God will save them.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God is not selfish; His grace is for all: don’t hide or hoard His message of grace.