The Angry Preacher — A LifeWords Devotion – Hope 103.2

The Angry Preacher — A LifeWords Devotion

We are certainly, like Jonah, called to speak out the challenging message of God. But let’s make sure we do so with the heart of God.

By David ReayMonday 26 Aug 2019LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Jonah 4:1-3

Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a programme of forgiveness!

“So, God, if you won’t kill them, kill me! I’m better off dead!” (THE MESSAGE)

Poor old Jonah. He runs away from God, gets swallowed by a sea creature, finally does what God told him to do all along, and in the end it turns out badly for him. What makes this passage unusual is that it turned out quite well for the people of Nineveh who seemingly responded positively to Jonah’s message. They turned to God. So why was Jonah upset?

It appears he had a sneaking suspicion that God might show mercy to those wicked people. As indeed he did. And all Jonah wanted was to see them wiped out. This story is in the Bible as an illustration of how God’s mercy can be extended to all, that it is not just for the chosen ones like Jonah. Our preacher and prophet was happy enough to enjoy God’s grace, but he reckoned it should be reserved to those like him.

Which utterly misunderstands grace. It is sadly possible to think of grace and speak of grace gracelessly. The good news of grace can be conveyed in a harsh and ugly way. Some may even have a secret desire to see some divine thunderbolts come down while they mutter quietly about sinners getting their just deserts from a just God.

God is far more gracious than his people. We are certainly, like Jonah, called to speak out the challenging message of God. But let’s make sure we do so with the heart of God.

Blessings
David

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by