Today Joy and I have continued our reading in Jonah (see her blog for her thoughts!). God’s word for me today is in Jonah 4:1-2, which says:
“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “ 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 love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
I’m sure that if Jonah had actually listened to what he was saying he would have understood how ridiculous it is. Not only is he saying that the Lord’s compassion and grace is a bad thing; Jonah is saying that he knew better than God! Jonah says “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when i was still at home?” Jonah actually thinks that he knows what is better, and that God could learn a lesson from him! However when the Lord is compassionate to Jonah and provides a plant to shade him, Jonah seems to think it’s fine.
Many people don’t have compassion; they’re Jonah’s who don’t think that others deserve to have the Lord’s compassion. And their right, that is their right because no one deserves to have the Lord’s compassion, everyone deserves to die and go to hell. But that God gave all of us compassion when He sent His son to die in our place on the cross. I know it might get monotonous when you always hear that Jesus died for you, but if you actually think about the truth that God died in your place to save you, it is amazing.
If you focus always on Jesus and the Gospel then you will not become a Jonah, you will always want to give God’s compassion and mercy to others, no matter what they’ve done.
Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland