Monday, January 18, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God’s Compassion
Jonah 1: 1-17

Jocelyn Johnson
St. Johns MTC, NY

1.Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 

When we face something that we think is too much for us, or have something to do that we just don’t feel like doing, many of us have this feeling of wanting to run away to avoid the responsibility. Jonah was given a mission to go and preach against a city. But the city he was told to go was Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. Assyria was known for its ruthlessness, brutality, and domineering power. Because of the increased wickedness occurring in the city, Jonah was told to go and preach to them. God wanted them to know that He would save them from their awful judgement and that He was giving them a chance to repent for their sins. And although Jonah understood this, he ran away from the Lord. He was not interested in traveling all the way to Nineveh because he had no compassion for them. 
We have some insight on Nineveh in Nahum 3:1-4, when Nineveh is described as, “the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!” It was also described to have “many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses -” Nineveh was a scary place. It was not a place anyone would just willingly decide to travel to. Their cruelty was well known by everyone and Jonah did not like them. After everything they had done, all the sins and evil they had committed, why should they be blessed and saved? He wanted them to receive the harsh judgment they deserved. He was unwilling to share God’s compassion with Nineveh. Many of us are like Jonah. There are some people we often don’t want to help because of the things they’ve done. But we have to learn to be compassionate and forgiving, just like our Almighty Father.
What’s hard to believe in the story of Jonah, is how God cares about the people of Nineveh, even though they were known for their terrible atrocities and destruction. But we have to remember that our God is a compassionate God, who gives us a chance to redeem ourselves. 


Lord, help us to have the strength and courage to face whatever trials and tribulations come our way. Help us to take on our responsibilities and to carry out Your word. Help us to be more willing to share Your Compassion with others, even when we think they may not deserve it. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
Psalm 145:8