The LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love.
~Exodus 34:6, CSB
It is not happy people who are thankful: it is thankful people who are happy.
I am currently preaching through the book of Jonah on Sunday mornings. This week I will be in Jonah chapter 4 where Jonah gets angry with God for not destroying Nineveh. Here is Jonah’s prayer: “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, a God who relents from sending disaster. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” I’ve preached this sermon before but a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that I had not seen before; Jonah is praying scripture. The words in bold are from Exodus 34:6 and this verse may be the most quoted in the bible. Psalm 86:15 for example: But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth. Actually I missed it when I was in Psalm 86 but in reading Psalm 103 a little more than a week ago, I spotted it again, The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. When I saw it, I immediately turned back to Jonah and there it was verbatim. Exodus 34:6 is quoted eleven times. I’m not sure there is a more quoted verse in the bible. Jonah was upset that God is compassionate and gracious but he should have been thankful. Had God not been merciful and compassionate to Jonah, he was have rotted in the stomach of fish. Instead of complaining to God, he should have been thanking Him.