An angry prophet  –  2020.10.07

An angry prophet  –  2020.10.07

I knew that You are
a gracious and compassionate God,
slow to anger and abounding in love.
Jonah 4:2

Now God did not intend to destroy the city of Niniveh anymore. Well, this is not fair, Jonah thought. First, I should announce judgement on this depraved city and finally God changes His mind… just because everyone has repented. Was that truly real, or did they just act, pretend repentance? In any case my reputation is gone, I am ruined. I would have better stayed at home. For I knew from the beginning that God is merciful, patient, gracious and abounding in love and that He will relent, will withdraw His judgement. That is precisely why I wanted to flee to the end of the world to avoid this assignment. Now I dont want to go on living like this anymore, I will rather take my life. It is better for me to die than to live!
But God interrupted his complaints and said to Jonah: Is it right for you to be angry?  Jonah didn
t give up, looked for a place outside the city, curious what would happen to it. There he set up a little canopy of leaves to be protected from the heat of the sun. And God provided a leafy plant to give him more shade, to ease his discomfort which made him very happy. But at dawn the next day God sent a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. And when the sun blazed at Jonah`s head so that he grew faint God sent a scorching east wind. Again Jonah wanted rather to die than to endure this heat any longer. In this moment God spoke to him: Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? It is, Jonah said, I am so angry I wish I were dead! But the Lord said: “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Niniveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand unredeemed people together will all their livestock?
This was a tough lesson for Jonah. I think we are often in a same position like him. Or are we never disappointed and even upset sometimes  when God blesses others and not us, when He looks after them, provide them with advices and seems to ignore us?   …  Deep inside we are then often angry with God and His actions. In doing so, we forget that He loves everyone, always wants to give us the best, thinks of everything and is certainly also merciful, patient, and gracious to me.

Thank You, Father in Heaven! My anger is only a childish incomprehension. No, I will rather trust and praise You always in advance, as I know You are in control of everything. You are full of mercy and not at all vengeful. You are so wonderful, my Father!  

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