Strange Mercy — Jonah 1

Strange Mercy — Jonah 1
Jonah and the big shif

When my daughter was about three, her favorite Bible story was Jonah’s story. I think the story of a man inside the belly of a giant fish for three days was too fascinating for her. We had to talk about that story over and over again. She just couldn’t hear enough of it. I think it was too fascinating to be true, maybe like one of the cartoons she was watching. Since she couldn’t pronounce some words well, I remember she would say, “Jonah and the big shif (instead of fish)”

If you don’t know the story it may sound like fiction; but it’s not. It’s a true story of a man who was running away from God (or so he thought) because he did not want to obey Him. But God showed him mercy albeit in a strange way. Biblically, the word mercy means “not getting the punishment deserved”. Jonah deserved death for his disobedience, for the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Instead of killing him, God spared his life during a storm. God could have killed him by letting him drown when he was thrown overboard by the sailors, but He did not. Instead, He showed him mercy and spared his life again by sending a big fish to swallow him.

God’s Mercy

God is rich in mercy and His mercies are new each day. He sometimes shows His mercy in ways that are strange to us, like He did with Jonah. If you are going through a setback or a trial or a problem right now, could it have been sent by God because of His mercy to you? God sometimes allows pain and suffering as a way of showing mercy to us so that we do not experience His punishment. His desire is to get our attention so that we turn away from our sin and follow Him.

And just as God chooses how He shows His mercy to us, we choose how we will respond to His mercy.

Point to Ponder

God’s mercy is bigger than any sin that you’ve committed.

Have a blessed Friday

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