Jonah would rather have died than to let go of his anger that God would have compassion on Nineveh. We must not allow such a hardness to enter our hearts, especially as we expect to see the judgments of God on the wicked in this day. Our hearts must express God’s compassion rather than the anger, the violence, and the judgmental spirits of this age.
Can God get angry? Of course. Does He decree judgments on people with whom He is angry? Absolutely! However, that does not mean He necessarily remains angry or executes fully and completely the results of that anger, even if He proclaimed those results. We have proof of this in the book of Jonah. God declared through Jonah that Nineveh would be destroyed because of its evil. When the people of Nineveh repented, God’s anger abated and the destruction that He Himself decreed did not happen. Then God had to deal with the fact that Jonah could not control his anger.
Jonah’s anger and personal desire to see judgment made it impossible for him to accept God’s compassion for the people of Nineveh. He engaged in the same thoughts and feelings as the age in which he lived, and God dealt with him. We can see the anger and rage being expressed in this age, along with the resulting violence. But if we feel that God’s promised judgments give us license to engage in those same feelings and thoughts, or if we are unable to accept God’s compassion on people, then God will deal with us as well.
As a believer you cannot have the same spirit that is in the world. You are not dealing with your own personal feelings about others. You are dealing with the laws of God that are set in motion, and when you judge you are setting something in motion that you may not be able to get out from under. Whatever you are feeling, stop and disconnect from this world. Get out of the thinking, the acting, the feelings, and the emotions of this age and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Spend some time with the Lord and sort out your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions before Him.
- Jonah 3:6–10. “Call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence.”
- Jonah 4:1–4. “The LORD said, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry?’”
- Jonah 4:5–11. “Then God said to Jonah, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry?’”
- Luke 6:36–38. “By your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
- Matthew 12:33–37. “Every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it.”
- Genesis 4:7. “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?”
- Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
- “Thoughts can be controlled by our mind. And therefore, our mind is capable of changing the thoughts in our brain, which is capable of changing the emotions, which is capable of changing the actions that are happening.”
- “We are in a time when God is working with His people and His Body. And I think He’s working with our attitudes. I think He’s working with our thoughts, with our emotions, with our judgments.”
- “If you’re out there judging, don’t think you’re going to get away with it. Don’t think you’re not going to face it. Don’t think it’s not going to come back around.
- There is a lot of thinking in the Church that people are in a state that is irredeemable, and that God’s judgments are irreversible. I want us to be careful because we are in the same situation Jonah was in with Nineveh. God was angry with the people of Nineveh. But when they repented, His anger ceased, and He did not do what Jonah prophesied. This made Jonah very angry. Will we too be angry if God’s compassion does not produce the judgment we want to see happen?
- In social media today we find a tremendous expression of outrage, anger, and division. People may feel like it is nothing more than comments, just expressing opinions, but we know that speech is an expression of what is in the heart of man. As Christians we need to examine our hearts. Are our words rooted in the love of God for mankind or in the anger, hatred, and unforgiveness that is overtaking the world?
- We should be the voice saying, “Yes, God can withdraw his burning anger.” But we had better get rid of what He is angry about. And I do not see how we, as believers, can be looking at the judgments that are to come on the world and look at an angry God coming to the earth and think that He is not angry at us if the same things exist in our own hearts.