Having the Last Word

John Koedyker

READ : Jonah 4:5-9

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” (v. 9)

Power struggles are common occurrences. There is a disagreement and both sides want to win. Both parties want the last word. It happens between neighbors, coworkers, and family members.

Jonah was in a power struggle with God. Jonah wanted judgment for his enemies in Nineveh; God wanted mercy for his penitent children there. And it made Jonah mad. Finally, after arguing back and forth with God, all Jonah was left with here in Chapter 4 was, “I quit. I’ve had it, Lord. I might as well die.” That was his “last word.” How disappointing!

When our children were young, we told them that if they wanted to have the last word in a disagreement with us, all they would have to do is say, “Okay.” (Incidentally, this also works with your spouse.) If you really want to have the last word in any argument, try saying, “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

Jonah just couldn’t believe that what God was doing was right. That can happen to us too. But if you think that you are right and God is wrong, try using the words of the man in Mark 9, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”


Lord, help me to believe even when it’s hard. Amen.