Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry. Jonah 4:1 (TEV)
It was confrontation time. Ever since the day Randy baptized a hundred people, Bill and Robert had sort of disappeared. No, they hadn't got lost at sea again but had been hiding from Randy. They were afraid that Randy might find out the real reason they had gone on their cruise when they did but some how or another, Randy found out and now it was confrontation time.
Nearly fifty of the natives he had baptized joined Randy as he searched the island for the two runaways as they had been nicknamed by the natives. Randy took half of the helpers and searched the northern half of the island while Joco, one of the natives, took the other half to search the southern part of the island.
About 2 hours into the search a boy from Joco's group came running up to Randy. "Hurry!" he said as he tried to catch his breath " They - found - them" "That's great" Randy said,"Let's walk over to Joco's group." "No! - Run!" the boy panted out "Trouble - brewing. - They - show - no - mercy;"
Upon hearing those words, Randy took off running but he couldn't keep up with the boy, he was getting too old to run like that. Eventually they reach Joco and his group and sure enough, trouble was brewing for they had Robert and Bill tied to a stake and it looked like they were about to be barbequed.
"Joco!" Randy called out "What's going on?" "We caught them runaways." Joca answered back, "We torture them now for running away from God" "You can't do that!" Randy protested "Yeah!" Robert added from where he was tied, "You can't do that." "Hush!" Joco said as he pointed a spear at Robert, "You runaway, you deserve to be tortured"
Upon hearing Joco's last words the crown started chanting "Show no mercy!, Show no mercy!" After fifteen minutes the crowd calmed back down and Randy asked the crowd if God had shown them mercy. "Yeah!" somebody shouted, "But we not run from God, we just run God's people off is.....land."
After a few moments of silence another voice popped up "We not deserve mercy either, do we?"
Slowly the people started to leave and before long it was just Randy, Robert and Bill. left standing there. With out saying a word, Randy untied the runaways and than he too walked away.
Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, "God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That's why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! "So, God, if you won't kill them, kill me! I'm better off dead!"
Jonah 4:1-3 (MSG)
Jonah didn't care about the people of Nineveh, and he didn't want the people of Nineveh to be saved, that's why he ran away, that's why he sat outside the city waiting for God to destroy the people. Just like Jonah we all too often don't care about certain groups of people or individuals, we don't want them to be saved, we want to see them wiped out.
Think about these two stories for a moment - one from the O.T. and one from the N.T.
- 2 Kings 6:18-21 - As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please make them blind.” So the Lord struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Then Elisha went out and told them, “You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria. As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, now open their eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they discovered that they were in the middle of Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?” (NLT)
- Luke 9:51-56 - As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind and set out on his way to Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead of him, who went into a village in Samaria to get everything ready for him. But the people there would not receive him, because it was clear that he was on his way to Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.(TEV)
Should I kill them, should I kill them, should we call down fire and destroy them? Too many people are just like Jonah but what does God want? MERCY! It's good for all involved.
- Micah 6:8 - No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (NLT)
- Luke 6:36 - Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.(TEV)
- Proverbs 11:17 - The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. (NAS)
- Matthew 5:7 - "Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! (TEV)
- James 2:13 - There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.(NLT)
Here's Something to Ponder
- Are there those you do not want to be saved?
- Are you in the business of showing mercy?