The story of Jonah and the whale (really a big fish) is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. Little children love to hear about the man who stayed three days inside the fish. Adults remember the story in the original context, but also remember Jesus comparing His resurrection to Jonah being in the fish.
The part of the story that caught my attention as I was reading Jonah was his prayer. He prays inside the fish, thanking God for saving Him. Jonah had disobeyed God’s will and in fact went completely opposite of where God told him to go. Despite this God poured His grace out toward Jonah by sparing His life.
This is the irony. Jonah recognizes that God was gracious toward Him, but unwilling to think that God could be gracious toward another, especially I heathen city like Nineveh. Nineveh, like Jonah, had veered from God’s will. They were in need of God’s grace. Jonah, however, could not believe that God would provide them with any! He was angry at the very thought!
A lot of us are like Jonah. We thank God for His grace. We ask for it often. But when we see others in sin we have the snobbish mindset that they are unworthy of God’s grace. That somehow their sin is so much greater than ours. We must learn the same lesson that Jonah had to learn. We must learn that God’s grace can cover not only our sins, but others as well.
We acknowledge and thank you for your grace. We ask Father that you forgive our arrogance and pride when we refuse to believe you can provide grace to others. Help us.
Through Your Son,