“…you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love…” (Jonah 4:2, NIV).
The phrase “slow to anger” appears multiple times throughout the Old Testament of the Bible. It is a fitting descriptor of God, especially when compared to the quick-tempered and short-fused character, Jonah.
Jonah refused to travel to the city of Ninevah, not because he was too busy for the trip, but solely due to self-serving motives. Jonah was petty and judgmental. He did not want to preach his divinely assigned message to the Ninevites, because he did not want them to repent and receive God’s mercy. Jonah would have much rather seen the city and people of Ninevah in ruins.
Unlike Jonah, God is “slow to anger”. He doesn’t react in a knee-jerk sort of way. God is patient when it comes to dealing with sin and the short-comings of people. God is fair and just, but he is merciful and gracious as well.
The Ninevites experienced the amazing grace of God, and we can, too. God is “slow to anger” and desires a relationship with each of us!