God saw what they did, how they were turning back from their evil ways. And God renounced the punishment He had planned to bring upon them, and did not carry it out.
This displeased Jonah greatly, and he was grieved.
It would be easier if God liked those we like and dislike those we dislike. It would mean that we were always on God’s side and the others would face judgment.
We know that this is not the case, right? Then why is it that we often, purposely or not, display this kind of attitude?
I can’t tell you how many I have wanted God to be on my side. At times my own attitude was not one of blessing but one that screamed loudly: May God Hate You! I know, as the recipient of those attitudes, that I am not alone.
It is at times of difficulty that I remember that God calls us to be about good news. Jonah could not wait for God to destroy his enemies. What a surprise it was when God change God’s mind and decided to accept the new direction of these people. Jonah could not get it, and so many times neither can we. How can God love them? How can God ask us to love them?
Often the message of this amazing story of a reluctant prophet (to say the least) can easily get clouded by a small detail of a fish who swallows Jonah for three days. Although Jonah went, he did not expect God to be who God was, instead he was more than happy to be the bearer of bad news to a people that he so hated.
All the world, all people, no matter who they are, what they have done, who they worship, God loves them all. And wants to restore all people into relationship with God-self and with each other.
I pray that God’s people are always bearers of good news. Our enemy list/dislike list/abomination list can be long, let us remember that God does not agree with us. Let us remember that our task is to proclaim, May God bless you!