MONDAY, JULY 30
“But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.”
Jonah 4:1-2 NASB
ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: COMPLAINING
A linguistics professor was lecturing his class. “In English,” he explained, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative.” “However,” the professor continued, “there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.” A voice from the back of the room piped up. “Yeah, right.”
In Jonah 4:1, Jonah believed God was positively wrong for showing mercy to Nineveh. The NIV translates Jonah 4:1, “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong.” Jonah was angry at God because He is “a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.” How absurd is it that Jonah saw God’s goodness as badness? The irony is that Jonah is angry but God is slow to anger. Jonah wants vengeance and God wants mercy.
Jonah’s complaint was a complaint against the character and nature of God. He didn’t think God was doing what was best. He thought God got this one wrong. Have you ever thought God got one wrong? Typically, when we find ourselves in a season of complaining we are ultimately criticizing God’s decision-making process and His character. If you are in a season of complaining, ask God to help you believe and see how His unchanging character is at work for good. Ask God to help you follow His example of grace, compassion, patience and lovingkindness.