In Contempt of God’s Court

Have you ever felt like you’re being swallowed up in life? So did Jonah…How many know the story of Jonah? For those that don’t, let me summarize it…
Because of Jonah’s disobedience, God commanded a great big whale to swallow Jonah and he lived there for 3 days and 3 nights. However, from the pit of the fish’s belly, Jonah cried out to God and He delivered him.
God asked Jonah, who was a believer, to go to a city called Nineveh and tell the people that because of all their sins, God will destroy them. Jonah did not want to ‘waste’ his time preaching to people who in Jonah’s opinion, were not worth it. Since he knew that God is so compassionate and that He would not in fact destroy the people, Jonah chose to run from God and go the opposite direction.
Finally, after a lot of resistance, Jonah agreed to go and tell the sinful people that God will destroy them. After this, the people repented and just like Jonah thought, God did not destroy them. This angered Jonah even more because God didn’t do things Jonah’s way. He didn’t think it was fair to him because those people were disobedient yet Jonah failed to see that at that moment, he was being disobedient as well.
Jonah was a man who claimed to believe and worship God. However, was he in God’s will? Was he being obedient to God’s command? It seems to me that Jonah was found in contempt of God’s court and therefore, since he disobeyed he had to pay a price.
To put this into perspective, If any of us were found in contempt of court, which by definition means violating a court order or judgment of a court officer, a judge may impose fines and/or jail time as punishment. To avoid this, we have to do what we are ordered to do whether we agree, feel like it or not. Now how many of us have found ourselves in contempt of God’s court or disobeying God’s commands?
For example, Jesus commands us to love one another yet we pick and choose who is worthy of such love especially if we feel wronged by them. Our memory doesn’t fail us and we have perfect vision to see and remember how they’ve hurt us. We tend to act as if God ran out of mercy the day He saved us. How quick are we to forget our own shortcomings yet demand forgiveness and understanding for ourselves!
Does this sound familiar?
Now, I am not suggesting that every difficulty that a Christian goes through is because they are doing something wrong or disobeying God, because there is also the story of Job, an upright obedient man of God whom God allowed the devil to test. But how many of us claim to believe and love God yet refuse to do the things He asks of us if we do not agree or think it’s fair? How many of us have had the audacity to question God, as if God is making a mistake.
I myself have heard God telling me to do something but because I did not want to do it, I ignored it or pretended He wasn’t talking to me. Other times I’d try to negotiate or bargain with God. I’d say “I’m not going to do all of that, but here’s what I will do” and then proceeded to sacrifice either my time or service to God in the physical while being disobedient spiritually. Somehow we reason within ourselves that half obedience seems better than no obedience but how foolish is that?! Jonah went through unnecessary hardships and wasted days and nights out of disobedience to God only to end up doing what God commanded in the end.
If there is one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how far we run, we are simply hurting ourselves, wasting time and delaying God’s plan for our lives because in the end, God’s will always prevails. He is the great I am, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. How many days and nights have you wasted running from God? You should probably stop running now.
The bible says that God has mercy on whom He has mercy and He has compassion on whom He has compassion. It also says that obedience is better than sacrifice. I believe this is because when we sacrifice, it is an offering and we choose to do it. Obedience on the other hand, requires checking our opinions at the door and doing as God commands, even if we don’t understand it.

Had God listened to Jonah’s opinion, what would have been of the people of Nineveh? Yet only after Jonah did his part, the people repented and were saved. Sometimes our obedience is tied to people’s deliverance. Imagine how many souls are waiting to be set free as a result of our obedience?
May we diligently obey God’s voice and His plan for our lives.
Be encouraged!
© 2021 ~ Carmen Adolphus