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Think About This...
|Posted on January 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM|
If I were to tell you that people have disappointed me numerous times throughout my life, you may not be surprised. As a matter of fact, you could probably match me, account for account, with like incidents of disappointment. It’s simply not uncommon in this life for people to fail to meet our expectations. Sometimes people disappoint us unintentionally, while at other times our disappointment is the result of a person’s character flaw.
Either way, we have all been there and experienced disappointment. But what if I were to tell you that at least on occasion, I was disappointed with God? You would probably think I was crazy; that I’d lost my mind, that I was foolish for even suggesting such a thing? I’m not saying there is justification for being disappointed with God, but I believe that if we were honest and realistic about it, most of us would have to admit that there have been times when God didn’t respond like we expected Him to; did not do what we asked of Him; did not take care of the situation like we wanted it done. Aren't you glad, “God Doesn’t Think Like Us!”
In fact, most of our disappointment in God stems from two basic things: (1) Our impatience’s with God’s timetable and (2) Displeasure with God’s system of justice. The story of Jonah is a good case study of this point. Jonah was God’s reluctant and rebellious prophet. Even when he finally agreed to deliver God’s message of judgment to Nineveh, he was terribly disappointed with God’s handling of the Ninevites. If we look closely enough, we may find shades of our own attitudes in the account of Jonah.
Here were find Jonah “…very displeased…he became angry.” God had just spared the lives of 120,000 people, and Jonah is exceedingly angry about it. We should be overjoyed to see such an overwhelming response to our witness of God’s Word, good or bad. However, Jonah was not unconditionally committed to God’s will. He had his own ideas about how God should handle the people he didn't like, and when it didn’t turn out his way, it made him mad. Anger about or at those we may deem wicked, evil or just unworthy of the things of God, hinders us from being fully used of God to minister a Word of encouragement or warning.
We can sometimes be angry at people who have not done anything to us, but know of their treatment of others; because it just doesn’t seem fair or their actions were just unnecessary to us, we now carry hatred in our hearts towards that person or people. Listen: One of the many possible causes of Depression is Anger Turned Inward: being angry and bitter within, carrying hatred.
In the book of I Samuel 18 verse 8 we are told that“Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They ascribed…ten thousands…to me only thousands…Now what more can he have but…the kingdom?” And verse 9 says,“So Saul eyed David from that day forward.” Saul became angry - (Heb) harah: to burn with anger; to be jealous. He became so angry that he went (Heb) satah: to go astray. Remember Jonah was told “Go at once to
Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it (1:2)” because their wickedness had come before God. But since Jonah didn’t care for the people of Nineveh, he decided since God is going to judge them anyway, let them receive their judgment!
Jonah went satah because of his anger at the fact that God would give these evil people a chance to repent, turn from their evil ways. He knew, once they hear the appointed judgment for their wicked acts against others, they would likely turn from their wicked ways, and seek the face of God for deliverance from destruction. Ezekiel records this in 18:23 “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (v.32) “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God, “therefore turn and live!” But this would be a counter intuitive action to what Jonah wanted to happen. He wanted Nineveh destroyed, not delivered! But, “God Doesn’t Think Like Us!”
Jonah wanted God to fulfill his own ungodly prejudice and hatred against the Ninevites, based on Jonah's feelings about them. Even as enemies of Israel, Jonah did not believe they deserved God’s mercy. He thought they should be destroyed. Like us at times, he seem to forget the fact that no one, ourselves included, deserves God’s mercy (Rom. 3:23); but God doesn’t want to punish us (1 Tim. 2:4). He would much rather forgive people. (2 Chron. 7:14) The people repent, and so does God!
But here Jonah is depressed and angry asking for the Lord to take his life. Depression causes us to act irrationally, immaturely, and immorally. The idea here seems to be, ‘Lord, if you’re not going to do things the way I think they ought to be done, just go ahead and kill me.’ Aren't you glad “God Doesn’t Think Like Us!”
Categories: Understanding Depression