Do You do Well to be Angry?
“And the Lord said, ‘Do you do well to be angry?’” (Jonah 4.4 ESV).
Jonah was angry with God. Jonah finally submitted to go to Nineveh and give the people a prophecy of doom and gloom because of their sinful living. But instead of the city hardening their hearts against God and His warning, they repented. And God relented from His anger and gave Nineveh a second chance—the very same second chance Jonah was given. Jonah was not happy about the second chance because the prophecy he had struggled so hard to give did not come true. Jonah’s expectations of his steps of obedience were not realized, and he was disappointed. Many times we take steps of obedience for God only to be heartbroken by the results. However, God may not promise a certain result. Many times our own imagination envisions a glamorous finale to our faithful actions, and when the end does not turn out like we had hoped, we become upset with God. God rightly asks us during those times of disappointment, “Do you do well to be angry?” We are accountable to our actions, and God is accountable to the fruition of His plan on earth. We can’t be angry at the results because we don’t see the big picture of what God is accomplishing for His Kingdom. Some day in heaven we may have a clearer vision of things on earth, but right now we simply need to obey and trust God with the results.
“For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does” (Psalm 33.4 NLT).