God’s anger is something to be feared. Yet, his mercy is endless. The prophet Jonah witnessed it firsthand when God recalled his sentence of death and destruction to the wayward citizens of Nineveh. It left Jonah perplexed. He had preached nonstop to the people of Nineveh about God’s displeasure of their wickedness. He had warned of the certainty of their doom. He was prepared to see God’s fury pour down from the skies to annihilate to the last man every living being in Nineveh. To his horror and dismay, the unexpected happened. The people of Nineveh repented and, God relented.
God’s turnaround made Jonah angry and want to die. He knew that anger was leading him nowhere because he would be going up against God but he could not help it. He was immersed in deep emotional pain because of shame and unrealized expectations. His pride was stung and his reputation as a man of God in tatters. Who would believe him now? What was the purpose of it all? Why did he have to suffer for three days inside the fetid darkness of a giant whale’s belly when God could easily change his mind at the snap of a finger? It was incomprehensible to Jonah.
But God works in mysterious ways. Nineveh survived for another day but, as history’s pages were turned, it eventually crumbled to dust under the feet of conquerors. Jonah could not comprehend it but, an omniscient God could. Such is the wisdom of God.