I was reading the Bible the other day and came across Jonah. Now, everyone recognizes that Jonah ran away from God and got swallowed and vomited by a large fish, yes, but I was not really concerned about those areas of the story.
What I Find Interesting About The Story Of Jonah:
1. Jonah 1:13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.
Whoever wrote down this account of Jonah made sure to note that the non-believers that he was traveling with were very concerned with trying not to anger God themselves. Isn’t that sort of funny? These guys who had their own gods and beliefs became terrified of the wrath of God because He was trying to get a message through to one of his own followers, and because of what they witnessed they turned around and became believers. Not only that, but they were super aware of trying not to make God mad.
2. Jonah 4:3 “Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
Jonah is so melodramatic! Things don’t go the way he wants them to and so he wants to die. Doesn’t that seem really funny? Also, God’s reply is along the lines of “excuse me, but who do you think you are?” I think we could parallel this to any sort of depression/suicidal tendencies. It’s sort of amazing that people don’t already, because I have not once heard someone who is depressed get counseled with this kind of tough love. It’s so simple and so true, if you want to die because things aren’t going your way God is most likely sitting upstairs and trying to ask you “Do you have any right to be acting like this?”
That is one really cool thing about the Bible that I’ve noticed recently; what you find can depend on your mood. I also got a kick out of some of Micah, because at one point he asks what God wants from us and after listing off a bunch of sacrifices and stuff he’s like “psych! God just wants us to do what He already asked, try to be more like Him.”
I guess the reason I’m still chewing on these ideas would be that I needed to be reminded that God’s a lot bigger and a lot smarter than we are. He’s got a better idea about what we’re doing with our lives than we do, and we’re living them! I know that I get upset sometimes about not understanding what I’m doing or what I’m good for, but when I think about Jonah and how bad his attitude was… I don’t want someone like me looking at my story in a few years and thinking I’m a dramatic brat. Besides, God can find better use for us if we put all that energy elsewhere, like doing what He wants us to, like Micah said.