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
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.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“The Lord is gracious and
compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”