Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mercy? Are You Serious?

See the source image

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." ---2 Peter 3:9

"For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."   ---James 2:13


So I reread Jonah recently and thought, "Ha! The comedic relief book of the Bible."

I mean, it (pretty much) said, "God told Jonah to preach to sinful Nineveh so Jonah, instead, took a boat ride to Tarshish."

Maybe I'm easily amused, but that makes me giggle. 

Why? Because Jonah's so us. We think, "Maybe God won't notice if I choose something different." But trust me--He notices. Then He makes certain our life goes all peace-out-the-door, rocky-road-ish until we obey.

And for Jonah, that meant nights spent inside a whale's stomach.

But what caused the whale to release Jonah? His repentance, praise and gratitude; a powerful combination, indeed. Even today.

So Jonah travels to Nineveh, warns its citizens that God's majorly upset with their sinful behavior, and poof! The king realizes that God has watched all the bad and ugly stuff and He wants it to stop or else.

The king spreads the message, telling everyone to get the sackcloth out of the closet, fast the milk and honey, stop sinning and repent. Maybe God wouldn't crush their city, perhaps He'd forgive them, instead.

He did. And that's what made Jonah mad. 

He'd have preferred fireworks and buildings collapsing, some good old-fashioned sowing-and-reaping sin principle stuff. But all along he just knew God preferred mercy. "Mercy, mercy, mercy," he probably muttered sarcastically under his breath.

Jonah was so bummed-out that He told God (basically), "I can't understand you or your mercy and I'm tired of trying. Just take me now."

Well, that's my Reader's Digest condensed version, anyway.

And here's today's lesson:

Anyone can criticize Jonah for his heartlessness and believe ourselves better. Yet if we're praying Today's rioters and tyrannical politicians  will reap punishment and harsh lessons? That they'll pay dearly (and I don't mean money) for their sins? Well, are we better?

Like I said, Jonah's so us. But he need not be. May we, ourselves, repent, praise and extend great gratitude to a mighty God who showed us such enormous mercy that He gave His only Son.

Because of love, the same love He longs to shine through us, so that a battling world can see to find the peace they seek.

See the source image

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."   ---from 1 Corinthians 13

What do we pray for more often? For those being driven by demons to 'get theirs' or for them to be set-free?  (And hey, I'm asking myself. Seriously.)

Where mercy, love, and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too. - William Blake


See the source image

I've recommended Tim Janus' videos before, but here's a new-to-me one which I listen to nearly constantly. Gives me that soundtrack of my life feeling.

Oh, and here are movies Tom and I have watched lately which I can actually recommend.  シ


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Diana said...

Yep, God knows what we're going to choose to do before we ever do it. It's hard to be a human AND a Christian, but that's why we look to God and His Word for guidance. His Ways are best! Thank you for putting this post out there for everyone! // I recently began reading your blog and have added you to my blog list. You're awesome! Blessings to you!

Betsy said...

Yep. It's not always as easay to be as forgiving as God is, but we must do it or we won't have peace and forgivenes ourselves.
I laughed at your schoolroom photo. It does feel that way doesn't it?

Pam said...

Well doggone Debra. This post convicted me. It's so easy to judge others and often hard to love them! With God's help we can do better.