1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto Yahweh, and said, I pray thee, O Yahweh, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious El, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Yahweh, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said Yahweh, Doest thou well to be angry?
Holiness is a manifestation of God-
"Be ye holy, even as I am holy" (Lev. 11:44).
"Let your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in heaven " (Matt.5:16).
The shining of the light to the glory of the Father is the manifestation of love, benevolence, sympathy, compassion, gentleness, and earnest effort and prayer for the well-being of others.
We must guard against the Pharisaic conception that separateness and holiness imply coldness, antagonism, selfcenteredness, and a vindictive eagerness to see sin punished
and the wicked suffer. God does not desire the death of the sinner. God punishes
reluctantly and sorrowfully. Let us take to heart the great
lesson of Jonah-the "sign of the prophet Jonas"-
"Doest thou well to be angry?" (Jon. 4:4).
Nineveh was a cruel, vicious, evil persecutor of God's people, but God sharply chided Jonah for resenting His mercy toward them. God would have all men come to repentance. All, even the worst, are "His offspring."
We need not fret with selfish resentment when the wicked appear to prosper. No one can fight against God. No one who is not sincerely trying to live in harmony with God is ever really happy, though all are so frantically pursuing happiness.
We can relax in the assurance that there is no real happiness in sin and selfishness, even at present; and that all sin, no matter how apparently "successfull," is self-destructive at last.
To be upset and annoyed because injustice in any form appears to triumph is merely a measure of lack of faith and discernment. Let us stop and get our bearings and keep the
overall picture in mind. God is in full control. He will see that justice is done-far deeper, wiser, more perfect justice than we can conceive of.
Was it justice to tolerate the terrible persecutions done by Paul before his enlightenment?
Let us not be afraid that God is missing anything-not a sparrow falls without His knowing. All we have to be concerned about is that WE ourselves are right with God, and a very large
part of our being right with God is our attitude toward others in seeking their good, and deeply pitying all who are unredeemed slaves to the terrible master Sin whose only wages is
sorrow and death.
Christ prayed for those who murdered him, and so did Stephen. In the latter case, the apostle Paul was among them.
Is it not far more glorious to intercede than to condemn? Suppose our forgiving prayers save our enemies from death, and make them eternally our brethren. Are we not then
"workers together with God " in bringing good out of evil, and life out of death?
Let us exercise this marvellous, soul-enlarging privilege of intercession and compassion to the uttermost, and leave the condemning to Him Whose right it is alone. What more thankful, faithful, self-sacrificing servant ever lived than Paul, the persuaded persecutor?
Bro Growcott - Our call to holiness