Link to lyrics of the song I would like to write about.
I heard this song on the radio this morning. It has been out for awhile. It always annoys me. There is rather an obvious reason for that I think but I couldn’t identify what it was that was annoying me on a deeper level. This morning I figured it out.
Luckily it ties right in to what I want to write about for my second Jonah post.
We are entering Jonah 4, and in Jonah 3, Jonah has let the Ninevites know that God would destroy them in 40 days. The Ninevites believe, turn from their evil ways, and begin fasting, then God is merciful to them and spares them. All that a prophet could hope for right? Not Jonah!
Jonah 4 (Contemporary English Version)
Jonah Gets Angry at the LORD
1Jonah was really upset and angry. 2So he prayed:
Our LORD, I knew from the very beginning that you wouldn’t destroy Nineveh. That’s why I left my own country and headed for Spain. You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don’t like to punish anyone, not even foreigners.
3Now let me die! I’d be better off dead.
4The LORD replied, “What right do you have to be angry?”
5Jonah then left through the east gate of the city and made a shelter to protect himself from the sun. He sat under the shelter, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh.
6The LORD made a vine grow up to shade Jonah’s head and protect him from the sun. Jonah was very happy to have the vine, 7but early the next morning the LORD sent a worm to chew on the vine, and the vine dried up. 8During the day the LORD sent a scorching wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head, making him feel faint. Jonah was ready to die, and he shouted, “I wish I were dead!”
9But the LORD asked, “Jonah, do you have the right to be angry about the vine?”
“Yes, I do,” he answered, “and I’m angry enough to die.”
10But the LORD said:
You are concerned about a vine that you did not plant or take care of, a vine that grew up in one night and died the next. 11In that city of Nineveh there are more than a hundred twenty thousand people who cannot tell right from wrong, and many cattle are also there. Don’t you think I should be concerned about that big city?
Talk about a reluctant prophet, not only is he reluctant, he is not at all happy with the result even though that same result was the best that God could hope for. So I find myself asking this week, how often do my own prejudices and stereotypes get in the way of the moments which the Lord may be trying to speak through me? Just like in that silly song, the singer says “How about Beavis and that other guy? Nah!!” Who are we to (hypothetically) decide that Beavis and Butthead are too far gone to save?