But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm."
Jonah was furious because God's judgment did not fall on Nineveh. His reputation as a prophet was ruined, he had foretold imminent doom and it did not come to pass. So Jonah gives God a big "I told you so!" Jonah knew of God's willingness to forgive but he didn't want the Ninevites to know it. Yet in this complaint, Jonah gives one of the most accurate and comprehensive descriptions of God's heart in the entire Bible.
How are we doing with our attitudes toward our fellow man, especially our enemies? Are we lining up God's character of mercy, grace, lovingkindness, and patience with those who have hurt us? Do we hope God will relent from doing them harm? We always want mercy for ourselves but very often want vengeance for others. That’s not God's heart and it shouldn't be ours.
Staying out of the way of His mercy for others,
Pastor Gerard Deleeuw