This is the final message in the Align series. Though no one knew God better than the prophet Jonah, his story reveals that it’s possible to know God well yet still have a heart that is out of alignment with his. In this part of the story, Jonah expresses his outrage over God’s choice to have mercy on the people of Nineveh. For Jonah, this was a calamity, an injustice. How could God do this? Jonah found it impossible to trust that God was doing anything good. We note, however, that there can be no alignment between our hearts and God’s without trust.
This fourth chapter of Jonah’s story teaches us that trust requires submission (yielding our sense of rule to God’s), trust requires self-examination (the Spirit and Word-guided inward look that helps us see what obstacles to trust remain in us), and trust requires perspective (the ability to see things more and more as God sees them, not simply how we see them). God’s ultimate lesson for Jonah (and for us) is that he has mercy and compassion so that all those who are His will have room to repent of their sin and join Him in his eternal kingdom. Someday He will bring judgment, but now remains the time of his mercy and compassion.