GOD OF COMPASSION
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Jonah 4 : 1-11
"Should I not have compassion…?”- Jonah 4:11[NASB]
Our God is a compassionate God and those who worship Him are expected to be compassionate like Him (Col.3:12). However, man often falls short of the level of compassion that God shows. Even when the ancient world was full of wickedness and violence, God sent a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), Noah, and 1Peter 3:20 says the patience of God kept waiting while the ark was being prepared. In Exodus 34:6-7, God introduced Himself to Moses: "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth;…”
The incidents unfolded in the book of Jonah are historical events (quoted by Jesus twice), depicts the stark contrast between the human and divine characters. In Jonah 1:9, Jonah introduces himself as a Hebrew and relates himself to God Almighty. Yet he failed to show the most important godly character in himself. This is a type of many Christians these days. Though they claim to know God, yet lack in the most prominent godly nature of compassion (mercy).
The name Jonah – means ‘Dove’, which is often a symbol of peace. However, Jonah thought that God is only a God for the Hebrews and he failed to fathom the compassionate heart of God that is equally caring for others too, even animals. It is interesting to note that Jonah himself experienced the compassion of God, while he prayed as he was drowning in the sea. Chapter 2 is the reflection of Jonah’s thoughts. It is reasonable to say that Jonah literally died during the course of his traverse to the sea bottom, but God in His compassion brought him back from death and made alive while in the Whale’s stomach. (Jonah 2:6 – You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God).
However, Jonah waited to see the destruction of the city of Nineveh as the Ninevites were one of the most hated of people as far as the Hebrews were concerned. He could not understand how GOD could show compassion on these wicked people.
God appointed 4 elements in nature to teach Jonah certain lessons: the whale (Jonah 1:17), the vine (Jonah 4:6), the worm (Jonah 4:7) and the scorching east wind (Jonah 4:8). Deut. 8:2 tells us that God allowed the Israelites the wilderness experience to humble them, to test and know what was in their heart. Similarly, each of these were tests for Jonah to see how he would respond. Yet Jonah failed to comprehend that he needed to show the same mercy he had received from the God of compassion.
Dear child of God, who has received the great saving grace of God in your life, what is your attitude towards the many unsaved around you? God says, “…for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:10) whom He would want to show His compassion and mercy that they be saved. But what is our attitude towards them?- do we see them with an eye of displeasure , seeing only the evil they do, while forgetting their need for a Saviour? Do we forget the mercy of God that picked us up from the miry clay (Psalm 40:2) that needs to be shown to these unsaved souls as well?
Our GOD is a God of compassion! His Compassion is still reaching out to you today, calling on you to repent of your sins and turn to Him. His provision for you is Jesus Christ on whom you can call on and be saved today! 'Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
LORD GOD You are full of compassion and mercy- let me understand your mercy in my life and be a channel of your compassion to other lives today and always. In Jesus name, Amen
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