There is one figure in Old Testament history that I can sadly identify with. That figure is the Prophet Jonah.Jonah was willing to serve God as long as God didn’t ask him to do something that did not make sense to him. God’s command to go to the city of Nineveh and tell them to repent caused Jonah to run… he ran not because of the wickedness of the city, but he ran because he knew of the mercy of God:
But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, "O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I ran to Tarshish, because I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness, and [when sinners turn to You] You revoke the [sentence of] disaster [against them). Jonah 4:1-2 (AMP)
Jonah had seen over and over again the mercy of God and he ran from his assignment, not to it, that is until he got a little encouragement from a big fish!
I can think of countless times when I withheld things that I could do to help others for just about the same reasons. Somehow feeling I was a judge and a jury, I missed opportunities that were set before me. I am not proud of this, but let it be said, there was more than one fish prepared for me as a result of my disobedience. In fact I could say that I fully understand what Jonah meant when he was dispelled out of the whale:
Those who regard and follow worthless idols
Turn away from their [living source of] mercy and lovingkindness. Jonah 2:8 (AMP)
The same message of mercy and lovingkindness that we may feel others don’t deserve for their wicked deeds; we will find we will need. In the above statement Job says that those who regard "worthless idols turn away from their living source of mercy and lovingkindness", Have you ever considered that your OPINION could be a worthless idol too?