“And should I not have concern for the great city of Ninevah, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people?”
Read the entire passage: Jonah 4.5-11
From the beginning of Israel’s history, God desires to be known as merciful. “And [God] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34.6).
As God’s prophet, Jonah knew who God was and what he would do if Ninevah responded to Jonah’s message by repenting. It was what drove Jonah to say “no” to God and head toward Tarshish. Having been shown great mercy by God, he was unwilling to show it to others. He would rather die than go to Ninevah.
God shows us mercy too. Rather than the punishment we deserve, God withholds condemnation. Seen repeatedly in the Bible including here in Jonah—Jesus is God’s full demonstration of mercy. The condemnation we deserve as sinners instead was endured by Jesus. He was punished in our place.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you welcome God into your day, thank him for his great mercy extended to you because of Jesus. “Gracious Father, thank you that I can experience your mercy because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. May I live today in light of your mercy. Help me to show your mercy to others.”