Pouting

Pouting

Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen. – Jonah 4:3

Exodus 34:6-7

 6 The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

 7 lavishing unfailing love to a thousand generations. Forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. 

After living with my wife for several years, I have learned a few things along the way. On those special days when she spends hours preparing a delightful dinner, and she announces it is time to eat, it is prudent to drop everything and eat. In our home with just the two of us, she is totally capable of having the same food for dinner night after night without pouting. Human hair of any kind on the bathroom floor is yucky if not disgusting, particularly if she is barefooted. Drips of any kind are not far behind.

After emptying out our small container of vegetable scraps into our outdoor composter, the empty container must be washed. Even the stainless-steel bowl that we rinse our dishes and silverware in before putting them in the dishwasher, must be washed in the dishwasher whenever possible. [In truth, washing a stainless-steel bowl which is already spotless is a bit hard for me to grasp.] And finally it is perfectly okay if she borrows your T-shirts for whatever reason, but you are not allowed to use hers ever! It’s better for me not even to touch them less they become wrinkled or even worst, sullied. Upon hearing this, my wife quipped, I know the best Scripture to go with that, “lead me not into temptation . . .”

When things do not go your way, there are lots of choices. One poor choice is to become annoyed and express your displeasure by pouting. Rather than words, pouting often involves a bit of a sigh, followed by a sulky facial expression, and then moody silence. And worst of all, are those times when no one notices you are pouting. This results in even greater displeasure. Pouting is an outward and inward expression of selfishness.

Jonah was the pouting prophet of Israel.

Reluctantly Jonah finally delivers the Father’s warning message of the coming judgment of Nineveh

Jonah 3:3-4

 3 This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.

 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!”

What did the Assyrians do? They repented from their sins and sought forgiveness from the Father, the Lord God of Israel (Jonah 3:5–9).

And what does Jonah do? Does he praise the Lord for this change of heart? Absolutely not. He was furious. In fact this is what he was afraid of all along. The Assyrians had a terrible reputation for capturing and butchering their opponents.

He feared that would happen to Israel. He wanted nothing to do with the possibility of the Father relenting and canceling their well-deserved punishment. In his mind the best outcome for Israel would be not only punishment, but the total eradication of the Assyrians. Jonah blurted out an angry, whiny prayer.

Jonah 4:1-3

 1 This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry.

 2 So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.

 3 Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”

In prayer, Jonah reveals why he initially refused the father’s request to go to Nineveh and confront them. Jonah was honest and admitted to the Father why he ran away from His presence. Jonah was well aware that the Father was merciful and compassionate. Jonah was angry with the Father for being Himself.

REFLECT & PRAY

Rather than following the plan that the Father has for us, we devise our own. Do we really think that we know better than Him?

Father help me to hear and to obey Your voice. Encourage me to never run away from Your presence.

INSIGHT

The word translated upset or displeased is raa in Hebrew. It means to be bad, not fit for use, be evil, displeasing, discontented, or repulsive. The word translated angry is charah in Hebrew. It means to burn or be kindled with anger, furious.

Jonah is furious with the Father. He finds His actions repulsive. He was virtually confronting the Lord God Almighty Himself. You called me to be a prophet and then You go and do this? It makes no sense to me whatsoever. If this is the way it really is, I would rather be dead.

Rather startling yes? But how many of us have thought or said exactly the same thing?

The Father’s response is sharp and cutting. He confronts Jonah with a piercing question.

Jonah 4:4 The LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”

Rather than speaking, Jonah becomes passive aggressive and pouts

Jonah 4:5 Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city.

With great audacity, and smug arrogance Jonah gives the Father another chance to get it right. Right that is, according to Jonah. He is still hoping judgment will fall. Jonah is totally lacking in compassion and desires only condemnation and destruction. Again Jonah’s actions rather startling, yes? And yet, how many of us have thought or done exactly the same thing?

It is very human to condemn others for their evil. But the Father offers grace, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness to the undeserving. That would be me! Thank you, Father!

John 8:7 Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone.

Exodus 34:6-7

 6 The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

 7 lavishing unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. 

2 thoughts on “Pouting

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