The story of Jonah has been widely used. Parents, preachers and Sunday school teachers have used it to illustrate the grace and mercy of God in answering prayer. God intervenes and acts in love to deliver us, even when we’re in a situation of our own making.
Yes, Jonah had deliberately acted in disobedience to God’s instructions, and tried to run off in the opposite direction from that in which God had told him to go. The consequence could have led to death and the end of Jonah. But when Jonah cried out to the Lord in distress God answered him, and spared his life. God gave him that second opportunity to carry out His initial instruction. The kind of grace and mercy God was demonstrating here is amazing!
I wonder how many times we’ve had a similar experience of God acting in grace and mercy towards us. We may have known what the right thing to do was in a particular situation, but we deliberately acted in disobedience and did the opposite thing. Then we discovered that God has steps in, bringing us to the point where we get a second chance to do what He wants us to do.
It’s all because of His grace (He gives us what we don’t deserve), and His mercy (He doesn’t give us what we do deserve). Instead of judging us for our disobedience He intervenes and points us in the right direction again.
Prayer: O LORD God, I thank You for Your grace and mercy. You act with patience even when I act in disobedience to what I know is Your will in a particular situation. Please forgive me and cleanse me from my sin, and enable me to be more sensitive to Your will for my life, in order that You’ll get all the glory, I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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