Chapter 24 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.
This week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4).
Most of us are familiar with the story that unfolds in the first three chapters of the little book of Jonah. In short, God gave Jonah an assignment: go to the Assyrian city of Nineveh, preach, and call them to repentance.
The Assyrians were well known to Jonah and the Israelites as a wicked, cruel people. So instead of obeying God, Jonah got on a boat going the other direction.
But … as our teaching Pastor, Larry Lamb, says, “You can run from God, but you’re not that fast!” Neither was Jonah. He ended up thrown overboard and swallowed by a giant fish. As he sat there with seaweed wrapped around his neck stewing in the fish’s digestive juices, God got his attention.
What a sight he must have been when he finally showed up in Nineveh! His preaching and warnings led to a great revival, but the story doesn’t end there.
From the Jesus Code:
When seventeenth-century British military and political leader Oliver Cromwell sat for his official portrait, the one that would display his likeness for all future generations, he instructed the artist to paint him just as he saw him— in his own words, “warts and all.” Since that day, the expression “warts and all” has been used in the English-speaking world to refer to a true representation of a person, to reveal the weaknesses as well as the good points.
Jonah, the runaway prophet, concluded his small book in the Bible by doing this very thing: in chapter 4, he pulled back the curtain of his heart to show his true self, warts and all.
Most of us, had we been writing this book about ourselves, would probably have closed with chapter 3’ s account of the mighty outpouring of revival upon the city of Nineveh. But Jonah didn’t. He added another chapter and included God’s rebuke: “Is it right for you to be angry?”
Jonah’s wart was his spirit of resentment: he could not tolerate the fact that the Ninevites had received God’s blessings.
Instead of rejoicing over a great revival, Jonah was bitter and angry because God had shown them mercy. His bitterness had distorted his perspective.
In Jonah’s case he was angry because God had done good to wicked people. What tempts you to be angry at the circumstances or, even, at God Himself?
Is it because something bad has happened to someone good. Is it because there is some relationship or circumstance in your life that is unpleasant or hard? Has God allowed something you think is unfair?
We may not always understand everything that happens and why God allows certain things in this life, but the answer lies in knowing God better, knowing His character, and growing in our ability to trust in His sovereign grace.
In Jonah’s case God pointed out the fact that there were thousands of people in Nineveh who didn’t know Him and revealed Himself as a God who wants to save even the wicked if they will turn to Him in faith and repentance.
If you are struggling to trust the sovereignty of God is some area, get into His Word, get to know Him better. Run to the cross and remember, if you belong to Him, He loves and forgives you “warts and all” and ask Him for the ability to see even the worst of sinners through His eyes.
Next week’s question: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6.8).
Last week’s question: “Is it true?” (Daniel 3.14). Read it here.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.
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