Jonah was offended by God’s mercy. Nineveh was a wicked city, deserving of God’s wrath. A judgment was pronounced but when the city repented God relented and showed mercy toward the city. This offended Jonah. He was angry that the city was not destroyed.
“He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.”
Jonah 4:2 NASB
I wonder if today, many of us are like Jonah, secretly wanting God to come down and pass judgment on our land. We see racial injustice, oppression of the poor, rampant sin, corrupt leaders and we think perhaps pray, “Lord, come judge the land.”
But let’s remember the lesson Jonah had to learn, the lesson God has been teaching for 2000 years, “It’s the goodness, kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.” Roman’s 2:4.
Our land needs healing. America needs to repent. But the healing and repentance will come when we, who call ourselves His, began to demonstrate God’s goodness, His kindness, His love in very practical ways – feed the poor, heal the sick, comfort those who mourn, champion the rights of those who are oppressed, protect the fatherless, provide for the widows.
It’s His goodness that will heal America. It’s His grace and compassion that will make America great. It’s His loving kindness that will propel us into our destiny. Let’s go out and demonstrate who our Father really is – slow to anger, abounding in mercy, gracious and compassionate.