“The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4)
Ever get mad at God? There are several issues going on in Jonah’s life at this moment (we’ll discuss them Sunday), but one of the issues is entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Jonah had prophesied fire and brimstone against Nineveh, but God spared them instead. And it made Jonah angry.
Jonah felt that God should do things Jonah’s way. Jonah’s like that kid you used to play with who kept changing the rules so he could win…and then if he didn’t he would take his ball and go home. Entitled.
I don’t know if you’ve realized this or not, but we are seeing a lot of entitlement these days. Author John Dos Passos describes it as the “idiot delusion of the exceptional Now.” The idea that history is unimportant, our nation is unexceptional, and all that really matters is me…now… This is the most important time in history…because I’m here now.
Jonah’s dealing with spiritual entitlement. He’s upset that God has shown compassion to folks Jonah has determined don’t deserve compassion. Jonah’s upset that he is sweltering in the desert sun and not being shown the compassion HE deserves.
Do you deal with entitlement? Think you deserve special treatment or privileges from God? Here’s how you find out if you are a spiritual snowflake. The best barometer of our spiritual status isn’t always found in our actions. If you want to see what’s really in someone’s heart, look at their REactions.
It is a lot easier to be a good Christian in Sunday School. A lot harder to be a good Christian when an unexpected bill comes in, or the Dr. gives a bad diagnosis, or your husband treats you poorly, or someone cuts you off in traffic. God didn’t do things Jonah’s way, and Jonah reacted poorly.
Jesus said: Matthew 12:34 (HCSB) 34 … For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. What is inside WILL come out…
Jonah is convinced he is entitled to better from God. He’ll discover in the end, that he is no better than the Assyrians he hated. The same mercy God showed them, Jonah needed for himself. We’re not entitled to it…it’s called grace.