I read the book of Jonah last week. Chapter 2 in Jonah's prayer from the belly of the great fish. I read his prayer, and felt like something was missing. So I read it again, and again. And I realize, that throughout the whole "You threw me into the ocean, so I will remember you to be saved" thing, Jonah never once apologizes for running from God.
In fact, in verse 8-9 he states "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit God's love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed, I will make good."
I basically hear "I don't really want to do this, God, they don't really deserve it, but if you'll save me, I'll thank you, and I guess, if I really have to, will do what you say."
And as I read it, and marvel at Jonah's audacity, a song begins in my head and my heart....
How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure....
(How Deep The Father's Love, Stuart Townend)
God gives us love, mercy, compassion, even when we don't apologize, even when we only grudgingly do His will.
Isn't that amazing?
A great way to understand this story: Jonah: A VeggieTale Movie. "Jonah was a prophet, oo oo, but he never really got it...."