Taming Your Temper
1But 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.’
4 But the Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’
We’ve all heard of the term ‘temper tantrum’ and we would most likely associate it to toddlers. We picture in our mind the toddler who wanted to get the toy, but will start to act up because their parents said ‘no’. The toddler could be crying out loud, screaming, jumping up and down or lying down on the floor. They are doing this because they don’t agree with the parents and this is the way that they feel best that they can let their parents know that they don’t like it. They are not mature enough or have developed the communication skills necessary for reasoning.
God sent Jonah to a distant land in Nineveh to preach judgment to them. He tried to avoid boarding a ship going the opposite way to Nineveh. We all know about the big fish that swallowed up Jonah until he complied to do God’s will. After he preached to the city of Nineveh, all of the people repented. They believed God and turned from their evil ways. God responded to this repentance by not destroying the city. Jonah had his temper tantrum because he hated those people in Nineveh. They were Gentiles and very evil. Jonah knew that God is gracious and compassionate, but he had hatred and prejudice in his heart toward the people of Nineveh. He would rather see them destroyed. This is a great reminder for me when I may get angry or want to see vengeance on somebody else. I should work on having the same compassion and grace that God gives to each of us.