And that is what made the prophets so upset. Not that God had changed God’s ways, but that the people had changed their ways and left God!
This is what makes the prophet Jonah so unique: the role seems to be reversed. Jonah is the one who doesn’t want to change; he is the one whose heart is far from God, angry with God because God is doing what God does – act righteously – and angry with God for who God is – merciful!
It is a role reversal. Not to mention the fact that Jonah is preaching to a foreign country, to Israel’s enemy: the Assyrians in Nineveh.
Now, a word we sometimes use to describe this anger or resentment in Jonah is a good German word (perhaps you have heard it). It is the word Schnadenfreude. Jonah reeks of Schnadenfreude. His whole demeanor is dripping with it. And what that means is that Jonah has this attitude problem, this kind of outlook upon others, wanting to see them ruined or destroyed or wanting them to get what he thinks they deserve.
Indeed, it is a deeply spiritual problem, and it is a problem that can corrode the soul, as does Jonah’s.
How may we allow our resentments and angers to get the best of us? How may bitterness poison our relationships with God and each other? How may there be a Jonah in us all?
Pastor Andy Kinsey