Jonah refused to do Gods will. Remember, he was the guy that was swallowed up by the whale...that old story we heard as kids in Sunday school.
Because Jonah refused to listen to God and turned the other way, God punished him.
Here's the story in a nutshell:
- God told Jonah to go and preach to the people of Nineveh that they should turn from their bad ways. Jonah didn't like the people in Nineveh and wanted them to suffer the wrath of God
- Jonah turned the other way and sailed to another town. God created a huge storm, Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a whale where He realised it was from God and then prayed.
- God, again told Him to go to Nineveh. Jonah went, preached, the people of Nineveh turned from their evil ways and then Jonah got angry with God
Well Jonah didn't like them, and he wanted an angry God to take out His anger on evil people. Jonah got in between the people of Nineveh and Gods grace to forgive sin.
Don't you often meet a person or be in a situation where someone has done something so bad to irritate you, harm you or even abuse you where you would want something really bad to happen to them to "teach them a lesson"? I certainly have.
Jonah wanted to teach the people of Nineveh a lesson (His will) and not allow God to forgive them and let them live (Gods will).
We are called by God to forgive anyone who repents. We are called by God to love anyone who turns from their bad ways and take them into our lives again.
Impossible....NO, Extremely Difficult...YES. (or does it have to be).
Well doesn't it depend on the harm that another person has caused you?
I don't know the answer. But I find a little more heartening and helps me understand a little better is the story of God is like.
No matter what we have done in our lives, is NOT unforgivable in Gods eyes. Maybe as humans we cannot forgive one another, but God forgives us, for anything, anytime, anywhere....and we are called to be the same.
Matthew 6:14 - For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Ephisians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Read the short book of Jonah, It takes around 10 min, but has a very strong message about what kind of God we really worship, and not the kind of God we want Him to be sometimes! Do not go against Gods will, you will fail.