Day 86: The Hero
Alright, Jonah, what are you even doing.
This was such an interesting book to read in the midst of all these prophetic books. Here was a prophet given the task to proclaim destruction, much like all the other prophets. But instead of fearing the rejection, persecution, and continued disobedience from the hearers, as I have been projecting might be what makes it hard to be a prophet, he feared the repentance of the hearers. He was angry when the people repented! And he said "I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and an compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." Jonah 4:2
And God says---are you ready for this----"Is it right for you to be angry?"
This is amazing for so many reasons and none of those reasons are for who Jonah is. Because Jonah is so lame! But this is amazing because LOOK WHO GOD IS in this!
Here I am reading destruction prophecy after destruction prophecy and I never even considered that this might be exactly what the people need to hear to actually turn back to God! I don't know what it was, maybe it is my projection that people don't respond well to the idea that God is bigger than them and is RIGHTEOUS in anger. That right there may even be me showing less faith than Jonah, which is a fun realization for me.
It's amazing that God is a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, He relents from sending calamity.
Jonah is SO silly. God's question says it all "is it right for you to be angry?" Because the answer is NO! As human beings we have this ability to be angry because we are made in God's image, but we are sinful and so our anger becomes twisted. Jonah's anger is very twisted here. It is right for God to be angry and He is instead gracious and compassionate. He is slow to anger.
It's also amazing that Jonah was a prophet. He heard the voice of God and he knew God's character. He was in tune with the Spirit, and yet he seemingly did not allow that to change him. He ran from God, he prayed, he got angry with God, he pouted, he got angry with God. It's so ironic and pathetic. Jonah is nowhere near the star of this story. God wins all the way in this story. He wins in general, in every story, but in this story in particular I can't even imagine how to try and depict Jonah as a hero. God is the hero, all the way.