Fair Play

I'm a firm believer in justice for all, but sometimes I forget the mercy part.  I'm thrilled when mercy is extended to me and those in my circle, but when another person, who I may not agree with behaves badly--well--maybe they just deserve everything they get.  

Mercy be gone!

Actually, I really do like it when the same rules apply to everyone.  I don't like it when one person gets special favor, while another person is excluded.   I think the term fair play comes to mind.

In the book of Jonah, the main man himself was struggling a bit with fair play.  

Jonah was told by God to go to Ninevah.  He disobeyed God and went the opposite way.  After some amazing things happened to Jonah, he repented and obeyed God by going to Ninevah and telling the people to repent of their ways.  

The great part of this story, even bigger than the fish, was that the people of Ninevah listened to Jonah and repented.  

In Jonah 3:10 (NKJV) it says this, Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

You'd think this would be the end of the story with a big, fat happy ever after.  

Who wouldn't be happy that a whole town changed their evil ways and followed after God?  

Who wouldn't be thrilled that people heading for distraction were rescued from the hand of judgment and given a second chance?  

Who wouldn't be elated that God used them as an instrument to share His love with others?

Jonah wasn't!  

In chapter 4 of the book that carries his name, Jonah was angry that the people repented.  Why would he have rather seen Nineveh destroyed than repent?

Here are a few reasons why.
  • ·      The people of Nineveh were enemies of Israel.
  • ·      Their destruction would have been a victory for Israel.
  • ·      Possibly Jonah wanted to see them destroyed because he believed them guilty.  They deserved what they got.
  • ·      Jonah had predicted the city would be destroyed and now his words appeared untrue when God withheld His judgment.

We may be quick to judge Jonah and wonder why he acted the way he did.  But don’t be too quick to judge our leading man, learn from him.  

Do you struggle with your own version of fair play?  

Do you have one standard for yourself like Jonah did and another standard for those you disagree with?  

Be careful when you tell God what fair play is because you may not want to be judged by the same standard you’ve set for others. 

God has forgiven you…now what will you do?   


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