Sometimes people have a hard time thinking of God as angry. They have this picture of butterflies and roses, unicorns and rainbows that their perception of God doesn’t allow them to see Him as anything but happy. Other people think of only a God who is out to harm you and smash you down when something goes wrong–we call that god the baseball bat god at Rev.
God is loving; He loves us more than we can even imagine. He is forgiving; He is able to forgive things we see as unfathomable–over and over again! That doesn’t mean He doesn’t get angry or hurt, though. Think of who can make you the angriest: those you love. The people you care deeply about have the greatest ability to hurt you. They are tied to your heart strings. The same is true for God. His abundant love and mercy along with our human nature are a sure sign for some hurt along the way.
As Jonah goes into Nineveh, he is proclaiming a great disaster will come. The Lord told him it would. When the people repent and change, God’s mercy prevails. He doesn’t want to punish us. Just like the parent who tells their child, “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.” It’s the same with God. It hurts Him to have to punish us, but here are natural consequences that are unavoidable sometimes.
When we repent, His heart bursts with joy. Our certain death is redeemed, and we are set free in Him!