Jonah 3:10-4:1 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
Really God? The Assyrians? Are You kidding me? Don’t You know how cruel, immoral, brutal, and pagan they are? I can hear Jehovah clearing His throat and whispering tenderly to Jonah’s hard heart, “As a matter of fact, I do!” The grace that Jonah received from The Lord gladdened Him. But when that very same grace was bestowed upon the wicked Assyrians in the city of Nineveh, it maddened him to the core. He pouted. He brewed. He stewed. Wasn’t that display of unmerited grace the same scenario in Luke 7 in the account of the “immoral woman” and the self righteous Pharisee (vv. 37-48)? Wasn’t that display of grace the same ending to the story of the prodigal son when the father bestowed upon his wayward, freshly-home-from-the- pigpen son in such a celebratory way that it angered the prim and proper elder son (Luke 15:13-32)?
As we conclude our study of Jonah this morning, it would serve us all well to take a “grace check.” When God forgives or restores a sinner, does it gladden us or madden us? Do we pout, or do we praise? Do we give God a thumbs up for His incredible grace, or a thumbs down? Do we imitate Jonah and wait for them to fall and for God to drop the hammer, or do we come along side of them with arms wide open and a place at the table of fellowship? Jehovah does. Jesus does. Do I? Do you? Selah