The Byers family is known for being hard-headed–known for being very stubborn and also for physically being very hard-headed! This can have its advantages. One time our son Jason was hit in the head with a ball during a little league baseball game. He was not really hurt and said afterwards, “Well, there is one good thing about having a Byers’ head–doesn’t hurt when you get hit!”
We had very hard floors in our house in Mexico, but when the J’s would fall and hit their heads, they bounced right back up like nothing happened! I was tempted to feel more sorry for the poor floor than their hard heads! haha One time I was bragging about how hard their heads were when two of them collided with each other right in front of me! They both cried. The person I was talking to said, “I thought you said your kids had hard Byers’ heads?” “They do,” I replied, “They don’t get hurt when they hit a hard floor, but of course it hurts when one hard head hits another hard head!”
I’ve been thinking about who in the Bible had the hardest head. I nominate Jonah and not just because of his famous encounter with a large fish! I nominate Jonah because of how he reacted to a simple question that God asked. “And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.” Jonah 4:9
Was Jonah certified insane? Was he loco? Had he not learned anything from running from God and staying in the Whale Suite for three days? Why was he not afraid of angering the Lord and receiving an even worse punishment?
We know he was stubborn because he waited three days and three nights before praying inside the fish. I would have started praying before I hit the water! I would have cried out to God without ceasing once I was inside the big fish. What in the world was Jonah thinking for those three days and nights? What took him so long? Crazy! Super loco!
Was he really so self-sufficient that he thought he could find his own solution to departing the Whale Suite? Did he think if he waited long enough he could out wait God?
And then once he is delivered and obeys God’s command, he gets so upset at the result that he asks, “Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3 Now he wants to die? Not when he was running from God? Not when he was on the boat in the storm? Not when he was living in the Whale Suite? Now he wants to die because God did not destroy the city of Nineveh.
And so after all this when God asks he is doing right by being angry, Jonah replied that he was doing right! I’m amazed that he was not afraid of what God might do to him after that answer. It’s not comprehensible that after all Jonah had been through he still did not have the fear of the Lord in his life!
Well, I can sit here all day and condemn Jonah for his hard-headed ways, but I need to stop and turn the mirror upon myself. How many times have I been hard-headed and it resulted in my own pain and destruction? How many times have I delayed asking God to help while I tried to fix my own problems in my own strength? How many times have I been angry at God when He didn’t answer my prayers the way I wanted Him to? Very convicting!