An Open Hand

Should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals? – Jonah 4:11


Jonah didn’t care for the Ninevites very much and thoroughly hoped they would ignore his God-mandated call for repentance; therefore, when they did indeed turn from their wicked ways, the prophet sulked. Apparently, Jonah just could not understand how (or accept the simple fact that) the Protector of Israel could have mercy on the greatest enemy of the same. I guess a three-night stay in the “Fish-Belly Inn” just wasn’t enough for the stubborn mouthpiece of God to realize his own hard-hearted estate.

The mercy of the Almighty not only extends to backslidden prophets and preachers, but also to whole nations (ethne or people groups) who live in ignorance of His goodness, love, and deliverance … even when that ignorance leads them to persecute the saints. We should beware all temptation to serve as the deliverer of God’s moral retribution against those we feel “deserve” to be punished, forgetting that we were once an enemy, as well.

Pray for God’s grace to always act as an open hand and never a backhand.

Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay. – God (Deuteronomy 32:35)

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