Anger. - Jonah 4:1-4.
November 30, 2022, 8:37 AM

God Questions Jonah’s Anger

Jonah 4:1-4

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”


We saw Jonah was greatly displeased. He told the Lord why he was angry. He didn’t get his own way. The Lord asks, “Have you any right to be angry?” It is a rhetorical question not really meant to be answered, but reflective. Can a man, who has been the recipient of divine mercy, grace, love, and patience, withhold these blessings from others?

Many may be obedient but not happy, which is better than being happy but disobedient! When parents instruct their children to be obedient, they may comply, but not be happy about cleaning their room, taking out the garbage, or doing their chores. When a boss wants us to do a job, we may not like it, but if we want to keep the job we obey.

The route to obedience with Christ does not always bring immediate happiness. When all the disciples were killed for being witnesses, there was a joy to be counted as a martyr for Christ in love, but not for the scourging or even going to the cross. Glorification comes later and it does for us as well.

It has been said: “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” It seems Jonah was trying to justify his earlier disobedience before God.

He did get his theology is right. It is taken from the same description in Ex 34:6 “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” God is gracious. Grace is a word commonly used. The Ninevites received mercy by not getting what they deserved. Now reflect on your own life and realize you and I have been the recipients of mercy. The greatest present of all was God himself. That is matchless to any other present.

There is a place for righteous anger. We do need to correct our children in love. We do need to confront sin and not sweep it under the rug.

God becomes our example, desirous to give people an opportunity to repent. He is patient in delaying the second coming not willing that any should perish.

Has God already given you warnings? Are there things in your life that don’t belong? Now is the time to turn to Him and from that sin today. God abounds in keeping His part of the covenant relationship.

It is hard to imagine Jonah, who had received grace and mercy from God, failing to have that attitude toward the Ninevites. He wanted to see them pay for their sin, but did not want to pay for his own sin. Just because a person has been forgiven or received mercy from God does not make them more merciful.

Application- Examine yourself when you are angry  with God. Can you trust is sovereignty?

Prayer- Lord, even though I don’t always understand your plans, let me trust your wisdom and know your are merciful and just.