Monday, November 17, 2014

Not them!?!

"The LORD is gracious & merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made."
(Psalm 145:8-9)

The book of Jonah is known primarily for the "whale" that swallowed Jonah whole (and then later spewed him out!).  Technically, it was a "great fish" that swallowed him, but that's beside the point.  Jonah was running away from God, so the great fish became God's chosen instrument at the time.

But what's not as widely known is the reason WHY Jonah was running away from God.  Yes, it was because he didn't want to do what God called him to - to go to Nineveh and preach out against it.  But why didn't he want to do that?  At the end of the book, Jonah divulges his reasoning.  And it can be traced back (at least partially) to passages like this one, from Psalm 145:8-9.  God is gracious, merciful, & compassionate.  God loves & forgives.  Period.

Why was this a problem for Jonah?  He was a prophet of God, wasn't it?  It was his JOB to call people to repentance & reconciliation with God.  Well, Jonah didn't think those wicked people of Nineveh deserved God's grace and mercy.  They were "too far gone."  But God DID forgive them, nonetheless!  After they'd repented and changed their ways, God changed his plans of destruction for them.  That's grace!

We love hearing passages like Psalm 145:8-9 when we're thinking about our own lives & what we want God to do for us.  But what about this passage being applied to others?  Especially our enemies or those who have hurt us?  God has compassion over all he has made.  Can we, too?!?

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