“God! I’m angry! Grrrrrr! Didn’t I tell you this would happen way back when? That’s why I tried to run from you. I knew it! I just knew it! I knew you would be gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind and would save them instead of killing them. I am way beyond annoyed. I am way past irritated. ‘Mad’ is an appropriate word for me right now. I AM SOOOO ANGRY!”
Whenever I read this I think of how silly it sounds to be mad at God for being gracious, merciful, kind etc. How strange to be angry with God for saving someone!
Quite possibly Jonah had lost some friends or family to the Assyrians. Maybe he knew they had been tortured and brutally murdered. If so, his heart would have been filled with hurt and revenge. Maybe he had been praying for God to destroy them on a regular basis. God knew he would deliver the message out of anger.
God had wanted to save them all along. When they responded to the message Jonah delivered to them, Jonah got angry. But Jonah didn’t want God to save them all along. He wanted God to destroy them.
Sometimes I don’t understand what God is up to. Sometimes I am disappointed in Him (for a while). Sometimes I’ve gotten angry with Him (Parkinson’s, expenses, etc). I always get over it and ask for forgiveness and He always forgives.
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” Jonah 4:1-2.
© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff