We’re Praying for Epiphany Fellowship
Sun Mar 09, 2014
by Mark Driscoll
Our Top 5 Posts of February
Sat Mar 08, 2014
Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
God Is Merciful
Jonah was in no mood for rejoicing (Jonah 4:1-11).
From my previous post, we see Jonah was angry at the way things were turning out and didn’t think twice about showing it. How often do we cry out against God when something doesn't go the way we think it should?
God in his mercy drew alongside Jonah and began to reason with him, “Do you do well to be angry about the plant?” (Jonah 4:9). God already knows what’s best and shouldn’t need to debate with anyone, but he is so merciful that he grants us the dignity of reasoning with him.
God Reasons with Jonah
God responds to Jonah, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. Should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons?” (Jonah 4:10-11)
So often we’re like Jonah, more concerned about the “plants” than the people. We preoccupy ourselves with our own ministries, goals, or the things in front of us, rather than sharing God’s desire and yearning for the salvation of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation.
God is so merciful that he grants us the dignity of reasoning with him.
Are our motives muddled like Jonah? How will we react when God unearths the attitudes we’ve kept so well concealed? Let God search our motives and hearts (Psalm 139:23-24). He is committed to realigning them with his and making us more like Jesus.
God’s Compassion Reflected in Others
Sometimes the image of God can even shine through ungodly people. Earlier in the book, Jonah told the sailors, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you” (Jonah 1:12). They didn't toss Jonah into the sea at first because they had compassion for him.
In much the same way, people today can often display kindness to relieve others of their suffering. Indeed, even the toughest individual can reflect something of God’s character because we're made in God's image (Gen. 1:27). God looked with compassion on the heathen in Nineveh who didn't even "know their right hand from their left" (Jonah 4:11), and he poured out mercy on them. It wasn't because the Ninevites were "kinda good." Believe me (and Jonah), they were far from it. It was because God is a merciful God. The Ninevites saw their sin and repented, and God had mercy on them (who needed it just as bad as you and me).
Jesus Has Compassion
When Jesus saw the crowds, “he had compassion on them” (Matthew 9:36). When we see the crowds, they look happy enough. But Jesus sees right through all the frills and into their hearts. He sees the anxiety of the man who is about to lose his job and the distress of the mother who can’t cope with life anymore, and he has compassion on them and on us. Let God's abounding compassion for you overflow to those around you.