Have you ever received the mercy of God in your life? Then, God expects you to extend the same mercy to others for God’s mercy is for all people.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me” (Jonah 1:1-2).
God spoke clear directions to Jonah; go and preach (cry out) against Nineveh, Assyria’s capital city. In an act of deliberate disobedience, Jonah fled the presence of the Lord in the opposite direction of Nineveh – Tarshish.
Jonah hated the Assyrians; their years of cruelty had left deep wounds in the Israelites psyche. Jonah knew that God knew this, so why would He ever want to forgive them? (Jonah 4:1). Furthermore, the Assyrians were Gentiles. So when God directed Jonah to go east to Assyria, he went west to Tarshish, probably Spain, because in his mind they do not deserve to receive God’s mercy.
But God probes Jonah with questions about his values, priorities, and actions, which we also are in the position of facing these same questions ourselves. Who is worthy of the grace of God? Should anyone receive more grace than another? Who are we to resent God when He extends mercy to someone we would not?
In the book of Jonah, the character of one man and the character of the one true God collide, with the man being brought to the point of a critical decision: will I accept that God is God and yield myself to His ways? We will all arrive at this crossroad at some point in our lives where we will need the mercy of God. It is God’s prerogative to extend mercy and grace as He wills and that our obligation is to be submissive to that will, especially because we are recipients of that same grace and mercy.
If God has restored you to a place of fellowship and usefulness, He longs for you to extend to others the lovingkindness you have received!
- Why has your attitude changed towards that person?
- Will you tell the person who hurt you about the salvation and mercy of God?
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your grace and mercies! You have restored me to a place of fellowship and usefulness when I disobeyed You, help me to extend this same grace and mercy to others. Amen!
Read: Jonah 1:1-10