“I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life for it is better for me to die than to live.” — Jonah 4:2-3 (NIV)
Jonah had preached what is probably the shortest and most effective sermon in the history of preaching. “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” Eight words (in English anyway), but it was enough. The whole city of Nineveh repents and asks God’s forgiveness. Now Jonah is angry that God has remained true to God’s character: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, relenting from calamity. God has forgiven and spared Nineveh. Do we also get angry like Jonah, angry that God isn’t more like us? We want revenge. We want to see evildoers suffer. God isn’t going to act that way, and for that we can be grateful, because sometimes we are the ones whom others want to see suffer.
Prayer: Loving and compassionate God, make us grateful for Your gracious ways of dealing with us and our enemies. Amen.
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