Just Listen

It amazes me that Jonah fled and disobeyed God, yet did not feel he would be punished. But instead, he wanted the people of Nineveh to perish, he wanted them to be punished but not him. He then goes on to say he is so angry that he would rather die than live because he didn’t see an entire race, an entire nation of people, perish. Then when he is uncomfortable because God took away the plant, he would rather die than live.

So, he is mad God killed the plant but mad he wouldn’t kill the entire city of people. Souls… He would rather them go out into eternity unready than to have another chance? If these are the people, God chooses it makes me feel like okay maybe I can be saved. It shows me that God is truly a God of mercy, patience, love, and forgiveness; not a God of anger, vengeance, and hate as the world tries to make Him out to be.

If God is a violent, malicious God as the world tries to say He is, why didn’t He just destroy both Nineveh and Jonah? Why give Nineveh a chance to repent? Why allow Jonah to live even though he wished to die because of silly reasons? God shows His true colors and simply brings Jonah back to reality. He doesn’t get angry and strike Jonah down for his foolishness, but calmly says,

10You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

Even with the tantrum that Jonah just pulled, God says listen to me, son, listen. Don’t you see how you pity that plant, how you want that plant? Though you didn’t work for it. You didn’t make it grow. You have no connection to it, yet, you love it. Yet you want to see it grow because it means something to you. Don’t you think I want to see the men and women I created grow? The men and women I labored for. The men and women I took the time to design and form. The men and women I knew before they were even born. Don’t you think I want them to survive the way you want that plant to survive? Don’t you think I want to teach my children who don’t know their left from their right, who don’t know wrong from good, to have a second chance? Of course, I do.

And that same merciful, loving, patient God that gently handled Jonah, still gently handles us. He still takes the time to explain to us. He doesn’t get upset and angry with us. He doesn’t strike us down and condemn us to Hell. But instead He explains why He does things, we just have to listen. We have to stop throwing a fit about everyone else. Everyone who we believe are worse than us. Who we believe deserve to suffer and instead we need to look in the mirror. We need to look at who we are. Who we’ve become while we’ve been looking at the rest of the world. While we’ve been looking at everyone else, who have, we become. Have we become entitled, self-righteous, hypocrites?

But the great thing about God is that no matter how far we’ve strayed. No matter how ridiculous and hypocritical we have become, He still takes the time to wake us up. He takes the time to bring us back to reality. He takes the time to show us His love. His patience. So take the time today to listen to what God has to say. What are we whining about that God wants to explain? What are we doing wrong, that we don’t see?

Peace. Love. Go forth and Just Listen.

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