Agonizomai: Jonah 4:7-8 - Ingratitude

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jonah 4:7-8 - Ingratitude
7-8 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God appointed a sultry east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah so that he was faint; and he asked that he might die, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."

Like all of God’s graces, they are graces and not rights. The only rights men have is the right to their just punishment for rebellion against God. And so, God removes the grace of the shady vine from Jonah. Not only this, but He causes a particularly nasty hot sultry wind to spring up to add to the shock to Jonah’s system. Like Jonah, when we have enjoyed mercies and graces, we are ever so likely to complain when they are removed - even though we never deserved them to begin with. See the self-deceit in the human heart and its readiness to grasp at ingratitude? But we are reminded of Paul’s words...
Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. {Php 4:11-12}
Make no mistake, Jonah was in great discomfort - so much so that he asked to die. I like the fact that he asked. That shows that, like Job, he knew Who gives and Who takes away. I have never been exposed to such heat, but I have had a similar experience with cold - where I lay in the snow on a deserted street and just wanted it all to be over (or thought that I did).

My moniker - that's John Hancock to Americans


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