The Chopping Block

October 17 | Jonah 1:1-2

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying, “Arise! Go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out against them because their evil has come up before Me.”” (Jonah 1:1–2)

Has someone ever told you to do something you didn’t want to do? How did you handle it? It probably wasn’t nearly as dangerous as what God asked Jonah to do for Him.

When God called Jonah He sent him to his archenemies, the Ninevites. These were the most ruthless people on the planet. Their brutality was infamous. And God wasn’t sending Jonah to tell them how pleased He was with them.

God sent Jonah to proclaim His wrath against the city of Nineveh. Either they would not listen, take him to be a fool from Israel, and kill him or they would obey the word of the Lord, repent, and be forgiven.

Jonah wanted them to endure God’s wrath for all they did to Israel. But he knew God would honor His promise to be gracious if the people repented. We usually think of the prophets as these holy, pure people who never held a grudge.

But Jonah wanted them to pay. He wanted them to get God’s wrath and judgment just like Israel got. He didn’t want to be part of God’s grace and forgiveness for these archenemies. They didn’t deserve a second chance. Maybe that’s why Jonah reacted the way he did.

Action Step: Is there anyone in your life who needs forgiveness but you don’t want to give it? It’s not up to you to decide if a person is worthy of forgiveness. Remember God forgave you when you didn’t deserve it.

Jesus, give me Your strength to forgive those who have offended me. Thank you for forgiving me when I didn’t deserve it. I know you want me to forgive others. I want to honor your teaching and obey You.

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