1 Corinthians 14:26-40; 2 Kings 9; Jonah 4
There are some people. You know the kind. These are the people that are so terrible that we know for certain that God will ultimately punish them. We look forward to seeing God wreak His vengeance on them. Before God called him, Jonah was sure the kingdom of Ninevah was made up of people like that. Then, God spoke. He called Jonah to prophesy against the evil nature of the people in the city. You would think that Jonah would enjoy telling all those people that God’s vengeance was just around the corner. He ran away instead. He ran away because he knew God. This didn’t stop God, He found a unique way to get Jonah back on task. So Jonah preached. Ninevah repented and God showed His “horrible mercy.” Jonah sulked on a nearby mountain. “So he prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!'” (Jonah 4:2-3) God has this “horrible” sense of mercy that causes him to seek ways to bring all people back to Him. The Ninevites didn’t deserve God’s mercy. They deserved His wrath. It makes us mad when people like the Ninevites receive God’s grace. They have rebelled against God. They have done things their own way contrary to the ways of God. And as we think about that seriously, slowly and reluctantly we admit that we are the same as the Ninevites. We have rebelled against God. We have gone our own way. And only when we realize that do we realize that we are where we are and who we are because of God’s “horrible” mercy and we can only get down on our knees in thanksgiving.
I come to You, Lord, knowing that I can only call on Your “horrible” mercy. I have rebelled. I have gone my own way with no consideration of You, Your way or others. Remind me of Your love and grace. While I have done nothing to earn it, You continue to shower me with Your grace and mercy. Let me show that love to others – especially since they don’t deserve it either.