So everyone thinks of Jonah and the Whale. Big Fish. Whatever. But lots of folks forget why he got swallowed up in the first place – because he was running from what God wanted him to do. And what was it God wanted him to do? Go preach to the people of Nineveh. Who were Assyrians. Low-down, stinking, no-good, barbaric, cruel, torturers-of-the-Jews Ninevites. And Jonah didn’t want to. He didn’t think they deserved God’s abundant mercies. He didn’t think God should give them a chance to repent from their sins. He thought he knew better than God about the deserved fate of those people.
I’ve come to realize I’m more like Jonah than I thought.
There are some people in my life that I think make consistently poor decisions. There are people in my life that I think don’t behave in a way appropriate for their age. There are people in my life that I think need to show more maturity and wisdom than what they do. I want to deal with them as little as possible and don’t really want to talk about the Bible or Jesus Christ with them, in part because there is open hostility to such talk.
But therein lies the problem – thinking you know better than God about a situation. I mean, He flat out tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours. He sees a big picture we can’t even imagine or comprehend. Yet I’ve been so insistent that I know better – if not best.
Now, instead of being told to head out to Nineveh, Nineveh is coming to me. I’m just thankful He didn’t throw me in the belly of a beast for three days to figure this out. So like Jonah (finally, during the second chance God gave him) I’ll obey. And hopefully these people will respond just like the Ninevites did. Unlike Jonah though, I plan on rejoicing with the angels if any happen to repent and thanking God for His mercies upon ALL of us that are so undeserving of His favor and kindness. Maybe especially me and Jonah.
Is there anything in your life where you think you know better than God? If so, maybe ponder on Isaiah 29:14 for awhile:
"Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."