In Tel Dan of northern Israel is a gushing stream that is one of a few sources that feed the Jordan River and supply water to the valley. On a recent trip, I was overwhelmed by the mercy of God as I observed this stream. For thousands of years, it has supplied the “Promised Land” with nutrients. Regardless of the rebellion, seasons of exile, obedience, and disobedience, God has been faithful to extend mercy and grace to the people and the land. This imagery affirms He is gracious and good, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love.
As we reflect, we contrast His mercy to Jonah’s resentment when expectations weren’t met or justice that Jonah thought should be administered wasn’t fulfilled. We love to receive God’s mercy, but may be quickly angered when He doesn’t act in ways we think He should. Are we actually trying to play God in those moments?
As God patiently responded to Jonah in chapter 4 to teach him a lesson, Jonah’s heart was exposed to its selfishness. Let’s be honest though; we are not all that different. As you lean into Jonah’s example today, look in the mirror to assess your tendencies to resent God’s mercy for others or sense of entitlement to God’s grace when it benefits you. Don’t forget that He is a sovereign God who gives and takes away. We are humbly dependent on Him for life and breath. Don’t forget that!