My Jonah lesson today was called “Making Deals with God.” The focus verse was Jonah 4:1.
But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry.
The unbelievable thing about this verse is the timing. What “greatly displeased” Jonah and made him angry? This is what: he had just preached to the people of Nineveh, and they had repented of their evil and turned to God. You’d think that, as a preacher, this would make him happy. But no. He wanted the Ninevites to pay. To suffer. He wanted God to punish them. Wow. And when God didn’t? Jonah pouted. He sulked. He told God he’d be better off dead. Better off dead? Than to see God’s mercy extended to his enemies? Wow. Jonah was just a tad full of himself. Jonah had a plan in his head of how it was going to go down, and God went and threw a wrench in Jonah’s plan. How dare He?
But don’t we all do the same thing? I know I do. Priscilla asks a LOT of piercing questions in this lesson. It was one of the toughest ones to be honest in. Questions like:
- When was the last time you did this (make an unspoken deal with God when choosing to yield to His will)? – End of May
- When was the last time you obeyed God but your emotions lagged behind? – Um, yesterday?
- Check any emotions you’ve ever felt because of an outcome the Lord allowed. – All of them? Frustration. Displeasure. Anger. Bitterness. Overwhelmed. Fear. Underwhelmed.
- Can you think of an attribute of God that you only appreciate in certain situations? – Honestly? Compassion. I get upset when people who do evil and hurt others never seem to get punished for it. Like Jonah. Yikes. Shame on me.
- What do your adult-sized temper tantrums look like? – Pity parties.
- Are you disappointed with God about an outcome He has allowed? – Ouch. I’m currently frustrated, disappointed, and underwhelmed to seemingly be back where I started instead of moving on. But at the same time, I am thankful to be out of a place that was both mentally, spiritually, and emotionally draining.
How sad that I have to remind myself that He rescued me from a pit, simply because the place He brought me to isn’t exactly the place I want to be. Talk about ungrateful. I’ve been learning to look in the mirror and tell myself to suck it up. God doesn’t owe me ANYTHING.
He’s already given me everything.