I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah 4:2b
God promises Canaan to Abraham but says it will be generations before Abraham’s family takes possession. God seems to offer the Canaanites time to repent from their wicked ways. We see God again extending mercy to an evil society when he calls Jonah to preach in Nineveh. Jonah knows God’s character of grace, love and patience—and he doesn’t think the Ninevites deserve such mercy. So, Jonah resists and runs in the opposite direction. Eventually, God redirects Jonah to Nineveh. As expected, the city repents and God spares them from judgment.
God extends grace and mercy in the Old Testament as he does through Jesus in the New Testament. Sometimes, just like Jonah, we may resist God’s character of grace and justice. We want justice for the evils done to us and those we love. Yet we may try to minimize our sin and think his justice toward us is undeserved. We desire his grace for ourselves but aren’t always quick to extend it to others.
We desire the restored world God promises through Jesus—a world without sin, pain and death. Such restoration requires both God’s grace and his justice. He offers incredible grace and love but holds each one accountable when we reject him. God possesses the wisdom to respond perfectly to each and every situation. Knowing this, may we each turn to him to accept his love, forgiveness and justice.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Offer a prayer of gratitude to God for his grace and justice. “God, thank you for the time you brought justice in __________. I seek your justice in________. Thank you for the grace you gave me in _________. Please now extend your grace in ___________.”
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.