Questioning God. - Jonah 4:1,2,8
November 29, 2022, 8:28 AM

Jonah Questions God

Jonah 4: 1-3

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.”

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” (KJV)

We often do not understand the mind of the Lord. We are filled with many questions why God does something or does not do something. In the movie, “Bruce Almighty” the character is often complaining and asking God why He is picking on him when unfortunate inconveniences happen. Like the rest of us, Bruce wants life to always be pleasurable and happy and somehow when it isn’t it reflects on the nature of God.

We follow this principle “God rewards the good and punishes the evil.” That is fair in our minds, except when we fail to see the evil within us and the good within our enemies. From God’s perspective all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. All deserve judgment for our sins. We justify ourselves and condemn those with whom we disagree and feel like God should treat good Christian people better. Ultimately this is at the heart of Jonah’s complaint. As mentioned before, Nineveh was a powerful, evil nation and enemy of Israel. Can you imagine a Jewish prophet preaching to Iran about turning to God and feeling happy when God blesses them?

His question is really a statement of his own opinion. “I knew you were a compassionate God who forgives and frankly these people don’t deserve forgiveness they deserve judgment!” The question is why?

No wonder Jonah is angry with God. God does not do things the way we would do them. God is being judged by us as if we know best how things ought to be.

Would God provide salvation to Adolph Hitler if he repented of his sins and reached out to Jesus Christ to save him? Yes! We ask, “Is that fair?” There is no way we want forgiveness for child molesters, for violent murderers or for oppressors who have done wrong to us, or to our loved ones, or to our nation. That is not fair! They deserve judgment!

If you look at the prayer of Jonah it can easily be analyzed as to where his mind was, ten times he used “I, Me, My” in three verses, as translated in the KJV. He is self-centered. He is so emotionally angry he wants to die.

As I think about Jonah’s question and statements in light of the grace of God, I am aware of how Jonah failed to learn the lessons with both the fish and the plant. He goes to wait for the destruction of the city, but it does not happen. Twice God saved Jonah- once with the great fish and second by providing a plant in the wilderness for protection from the sun, yet he was distressed. He was glad when he received grace, but did not want grace toward his enemies.

It was with righteous indignation, that those who thought they were righteous, criticized Jesus for spending time with the sinners, tax collectors, and even Gentiles. Aren’t you glad He did?

Application-When you tend to question God, humble yourself and realize God has some questions to ask of you and me.

Prayer- Lord, forgive me when I complain and help me to listen better and trust more.