Who am I willing to impale on the spear of my own prejudice?
Which divine command am I willing to ignore?
How could Jonah square up his disobedience with his profession of fearing God?
Next, something I wrote ten years ago or so:
God had a mission for Jonah. In God’s heart, this was a wonderful mission, a mission warning of judgment but offering mercy in exchange for repentance. In Jonah’s heart, this was a horrible mission. Sure, the judgment part sounded great to him, but knowing God’s heart, he just knew those heathen enemies of his people would repent and receive mercy. So Jonah hit upon the perfect solution (he thought): He would not relay the message to the people of Nineveh, which meant they wouldn’t have a chance to repent, which meant God would destroy them.
You know the account; that’s what he did. “But Jonah rose up to flee…from the presence of the LORD” (Jonah 1:3). “Now there’s a silly project,” you may think, “especially for someone who knows God’s heart and greatness.” Not only did Jonah reject the mission and the Sender, he also tried to get away from God completely. Surely he knew Psalm 139:7 — “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Maybe he honestly thought he could evade God. Whatever he may have thought, we can learn that disobedience, as foolish as that is, leads to further foolishness and futility.
I wonder how often I have pulled a Jonah. That is, I know from God’s Word and His witness in my heart that I ought to do a certain something. The matter may be as “simple” as correcting my thoughts about someone else; the issue may be bitterness, anger, lust, mistrust, envy, contempt, rebellion, or mockery. The divine order is no less clear to me now than it was to Jonah way back then. But I have other preferences, so I hatch other plans. In other words, “But Mark….”
Read the rest here: Jonah Pays and Prays.