And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”—Jonah 4:4, ESV
Jonah, God bless him, didn’t want to go preach God’s grace to Nineveh. He wanted the wicked Ninevites to suffer God’s wrath. He knew God’s grace was too great. Even for evil Nineveh.
Sure enough the Ninevites repent and turn to God from their sin. And Jonah, God bless him, was exceedingly displeased and angry. Angry with God. THE compassionate God who just spared Nineveh. THE compassionate God who is now sparring Jonah rather than zapping him.
Jonah said famously of God in 4:3 (ESV), “for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”
It's like Jonah was saying, “I knew it. That’s why I didn’t wanna go. I knew it. That’s why I’m angry with you God. Yeah, God, I gotta lotta nerve to be angry with you.”
As I’m getting a chuckle out of self-righteous, sovereignty-assuming Jonah, I read verse 4. I’m stifled by recollection of my own foolish anger.
“Do you do well to be angry?,” I query. “Well, no. Not really. I act foolish. I lose my cool. My anger bothers—even hurts—others. It makes the situation worse. It is... sinful. God, forgive me. Let me trust you.”
Anger, the inward emotion, happens.
Anger, the outward expression, is a choice.
Anger expressed betrays wicked hearts. Faithless hearts. More intent on human ways than God's sovereignty.
I don’t do well to be angry. God bless me.
Really, God, bless me to trust you more and angrily react less.