But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry (Jonah 4:1)
We see Jonah throwing a temper tantrum in Chapter 4. The problem was God decided to be God on His own terms and not on Jonah’s terms.
I have been frustrated with God over the last several days – especially as I hear about the scene happening not only in St. Louis du Nord – but all around Haiti. Cholera is striking the young and the old. Hurricane Tomas has taken the livelihood of a small fishing village. …Disaster after Disaster. I’m tired of it. I think most of us missionaries in Haiti are ready to fall right to the ground – kicking and screaming. We are ready for Haiti to catch a break.
We are pouting and for good reason. We have decided (subconsciously) that God is missing the big picture here. We are putting Him in a box. We are telling him that we don’t understand. We want a bargain basement God – one that comes at a low cost. We want to haggle with Him.
Have you ever dressed up in your favorite outfit? You KNOW you look hott!! So you ask your husband – How do I look? Now you’re not really asking for his opinion. You already know how you look. You just want his stamp of approval over what you know to be true! You just want confirmation of what you already know. We’ve already wrote the script. We know what our hubby is supposed to say.
This is EXACTLY what we do to God. We have the script written and we’re just asking God for His stamp of approval on what we think we know. As everything around me feels so unsteady – I’m seeing that we must trust God. We have to fully believe He is able and fully capable of being God. That He’s GOOD at His job.
Psalm 145:17 17 Everything God does is right—the trademark on all his works is love. (Message Translation)
Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (New Living Translation)
You see we have to have firm faith in God. We have to remember He has the entire world in His hands as He sits on His throne.
Exodus 34:6 God passed in front of him and called out, “God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn’t ignore sin. He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father’s sins to the third and even fourth generation.”
I have to tell you I read all of that and yet still struggle to understand what has happened in Haiti this year. It rocks me to the core some days. Priscilla Shirer’s Jonah Bible Study has helped me draw so many parallels to what’s happening here. Today I was reminded of Job. Please read some selected verses from Job 38 (Message translation).
Job 38 (MESSAGE TRANSLATION)
God Confronts Job –Have You Gotten to the Bottom of Things?
1 And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said: 2-11 “Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, while the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose, And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’ …
Job 40 God then confronted Job directly: “Now what do you have to say for yourself? Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press charges?
Job Answers God
3-5 Job answered: “I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
So what do I think about the overwhelming poverty, the deaths due to cholera, and the natural disasters that seem to plague Haiti in rapid succession? I can only borrow from Job. While I may not understand it – I should have never opened my mouth! For I have no case against my God.