“Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited…” Jonah 4:5.
Well, you would never know this was one of God’s prophets by his actions. After he gave the Ninevites God’s message, you would have thought he would have returned to his city, his people, his comforts of home. Instead, he removed himself from the city, to an area that still provided a bird’s eye view. Jonah made himself a shelter of bitterness and wallowed in its shade. There he sat and waited… eyes to the sky looking for God’s wrath to come down… ears to the ground to hear the pounding of God’s discipline… nothing! He squinted towards the horizon looking for any type of discomfort from God against the Ninevites… nothing but calm and peaceful across the landscape. As his emotions flared up in his soul, he realized his emotional discomfort was matched by his physical discomfort. What happened next is a testament to the awesome God we serve…grace happened next. ‘So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort’ Jonah 4:6.
We have all been spiritual stinkers at different times in our lives. We carry the message of God on our lips to those we really don’t care for in our hearts. We sound the part, but don’t act the part. We build our shelters of entitlement, judge what others deserve, and watch for God to act upon their lives. We have a dislike for God’s mercy to those who have not treated us the way we believe we deserve. Oh, we would never admit this, so we camp on the outskirts of our relationships sitting, waiting, and watching. When we see that the person is getting mercy, getting a pass from God we become angry and discontent. And what we deserve, we do not get just like the person we are watching. We get grace…
It is so easy to judge what others should receive or not receive from God. Instead of our eyes to our enemies, we should have our knees to the ground in humility. Even when we are at our worst, God is at His best.
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