A Closer Walk
Do you get angry with God? We may from time to time get angry or upset with God. To us it may look like He doesn't know what He is doing. In our humanness we sometimes can't grasp what our God may be trying to accomplish, or why. The Old Testament prophet Jonah also got angry with God. "But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry," Jonah 4:1 NASB.
Jonah was appointed by God to go to Nineveh, the capitol city of the ancient Assyrian Empire. "The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me'," Jonah 1:1-2 NASB. Instead of doing what the Lord had instructed him to do, he came up with his own plan. Have you ever done that? Have you come up with your own plan, which you believe to be better, instead of doing what God has directed you to do? Yeah, me too.
Jonah's better plan was essentially to go in the opposite direction from Nineveh. So he booked passage on a ship to Tarshish. After some difficult times, including three days and three nights in the stomach of a great fish, Jonah surrenders and agrees to be obedient to God's instruction. He goes to Nineveh, "...and he cried out and said, 'Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown'," Jonah 3:4 NASB. His preaching succeeded. "Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them," Jonah 3:5 NASB. In Jonah's day sackcloth was worn for mourning.
"But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry," Jonah 4:1 NASB. In his anger Jonah prayed. "...'I knew that Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life,' And the Lord said, 'Do you have reason to be angry?'," Jonah 4:1-4 NASB. God's response likely was not what Jonah was looking for or expected. Has our God ever responded to your prayers differently than you expected or hoped? Yeah, me too.
God's question to Jonah is one that we could wrestle with as well. Do we have reason to be angry with God? Is He sovereign? Can He do what He wants, when He wants, to whom He wants? The answer is, yes He can. But that doesn't mean we will like it, or even agree with it. Yet, He remains our gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. And He is our Heavenly Father.
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With Christmas approaching my book "Grandfather's Advice" would be an excellent gift for your children or grandchildren and would help introduce them to the Christian basics of personal finance. My book "A Closer Walk; A 50 Day Devotional" is a gift that would be welcomed by family, friends, or others that you care about. Both are available for purchase at Britt's in beautiful downtown Concordia.