The Lord’s Kindness to Jonah

Your estimation of God is what matters!
The Bible shows that God will treat you in the way you regard Him.

We all know who Jonah is and what he did. And the question that we are dealing with today is: Why was Jonah dealt lightly by God?

He refused God’s call, he whined and murmured to God, he even argued with God and even directly expressed his anger towards God; yet in the end, The Lord treated him with mercy. I would even say that God treated him as a friend: “why are you angry? does it do any good for you to be angry?”

Compare Jonah’s treatment to a guy who “sinned less” against The Lord. When Jonah did all those shocking things listed above, this servant in The Parable of The Bag of Gold (Matthew 25:14), buried the gold entrusted to him away when he was commanded to multiply it. How was he treated by The Master?

throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness,
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:30

So what gives? Why was Jonah, the one deemed as more insulting to God, treated with mercy and grace while the fearful servant was severely punished?
The answer lies in the way each of these servants regarded their Master.

The fearful servant feared the Master because He is a harsh and hard man.
What you can count on is The Lord confronting you with the very words you used against Him:

‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? (v26)

And as such, this servant was treated the way he believed his Master is.

Going back to Jonah

I have to establish the truth that nobody murmurs against The Almighty and gets away with it. We have all read the about the Israelite during the exodus dropping like flies because of this very sin.

Old Testament prophet Jonah, had one ticket at hand which I believe saved his life even after confronting God. Where the lazy and fearful servant estimated God to be a harsh and unfair God, this is what Jonah has to say regarding HIM:

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.
-Jonah 4:2

I purposely used NLT for this verse because I liked the word “complained” used there. The truth was revealed, after all, Jonah disobeyed The Lord because of his estimation of HIM: that He is a merciful and compassionate God. Because of this faith, The Lord dealt with him accordingly.

The servant who thought of God as harsh was treated harshly.
The servant who thought of God as compassionate was treated with mercy and even love as God Himself sought for Jonah’s understanding by demonstrating to Jonah a lesson through a gourd.

Be mindful of your surroundings, for this world’s propaganda seek to paint God as harsh, unjust, sadistic, idiotic, cunning, and even evil. We go back to HIs word and see God’s physical self appearing as The Lord Jesus Christ and we shall see that He is not any of those. Who in the universe can accuse The Lord Jesus of being harsh? Unjust? Sadistic?

What does The Lord Jesus have to say about this? He explicitly said:
If you have seen Me, you have seen The Father (John 14).

We base our estimation of God through the Bible alone because He will respond in kind (not necessarily kindly as what we have seen with the useless servant). As for us, His children, He will forever be that kind Father who cannot wait for us to come back home, that Good Shepherd who is always searching for us.
He will always be that friend who’ll go to the burning furnace with us.
That King who will wash our feet and refresh us with meals.

He will always be that Saviour, who without any hesitation would lay down His life to save us.

He is simply The Lord Jesus Christ.

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