God Responds in Compassion Jonah 3: 9-10
November 26, 2022, 5:00 AM

God Responds in Compassion

Jonah 3: 9-10

“Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”

God saw a great city. It was vast. There were multitudes of people and in this area they were without hope because they were without God. There was no witness to the truth. They were full of immorality, greed, pride, whose lifestyle was to eat drink and be merry. They were idol worshippers and did not know any better,

When I watched the movie “The End of the Spear”, (depicting the slaying of the missionaries in Ecuador a number of years ago), I became aware again that the love of God desires to see a lost people-group come to repentance and salvation. It may even cost others their lives. It cost those five missionaries their lives for the Waodoni people to be saved. It demonstrates compassion instead of leaving the lost souls in darkness.

God is gracious and compassionate, there is hope for the worst of sinners. During the great revivals, large areas of people were affected when people saw their need and cried out to God for forgiveness. Because God is gracious and compassionate, we can repent of our evil ways and turn from darkness to righteousness. This is the movement of God by His Holy Spirit. He will relent of His judgment when we turn to Him.

The phrases God “repented or relented” from His original plan does not mean God did not know. Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither is he a human that he should change his mind. the son of man that He should repent. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

I agree with Dr. Millard Erickson who said this was man’s way of explaining God’s actions, recognizing God’s ways are above man’s ways. The Bible uses human figurative terms to help us better understand. God was warning destruction of Nineveh for their wickedness. That destruction is the result of their evil. But now, with Jonah preaching of the warnings of God, Nineveh turns from it wickedness and God saves them. He desires, not to punish, but reveal his love! This story was used by Jesus to be an Old Testament witness of God’s compassion and all who call upon the Lord will be saved.

Application - As someone told you about the compassion of a forgiving God, seek to tell someone else His love-story this season.

Prayer - Lord, we realize we deserve death, but by your love and sacrifice, you provide life everlasting, We accept your gift. Allow us to share with others your salvation and compassion. Amen