God: Slow to Anger and Abounding in Steadfast Love

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 1:1-3; Psalm 103

The LORD is compassionate and gracious . . . (Ps. 103:8 NIV)

It’s time to send a prophet to cry against Nineveh and tell them their wickedness is an affront to me as the one true God.

Lord, who shall have this great honor: Amos? Hosea?

No. Jonah, son of Amittai.

Lord, Jonah is on a ship taking him as far from Nineveh as a Hebrew can sail. Is he afraid?

Jonah is no coward.

Then why is he disobeying? Does he not know you are Lord of Tarshish also? He heard your command! How can he be so rebellious and foolish?

Humans have my Word and my presence in the world, but they choose the way that seems best to them, not my way. Jonah is so full of himself and his religion he isn’t open to really knowing me or my will. So he runs away and then rationalizes his disobedience. He’s wasting much time, effort, and money—and harming his relationship with me—and yet he feels righteous and justified. Sin is a deep-seated enemy within the human soul; even with my people.

Jonah should be punished, along with Nineveh!

That would be in keeping with my law; but my mercy, grace, and love are in this story also; in fact, they’re the most important part. —Doug Van Bronkhorst

Prayer: Lord, help me lose my willful self every day so I can be what you want me to be; choose your ways, not mine; and always be your humble obedient servant. Amen.