The Old Testament Prophet Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh to preach as instructed by God because he knew that God would treat them graciously and mercifully. He did not want the Gentiles in Nineveh to be saved.
Ironically, while trying to get as far away from Nineveh as he could he tells the ships crew to throw him overboard so that all of them would not perish because of his sin. The Gentile crew on board the ship would receive the same grace and mercy that resulted in there believing the truth of God’s word that Jonah didn’t want the Gentile folks in Nineveh to receive (*).
I wonder how many of us are running from God’s mercy and grace because we consciously or unconsciously know we don’t deserve them yet subconsciously know He’s more than willing to give them?
This Christmas season let’s focus on the anger of God because if not for His anger at sin, He never would’ve sent his Son to planet earth to defeat it. Yes, we could never receive the salvation (justification, sanctification, and glorification) made possible through Jesus’ perfect obedience and sacrifice on the cross. God’s anger at sin and not at us is fleshed out in the life-saving and life-changing undeserved blessings known as mercy and grace. No, we don’t deserve them and we can’t earn them, they are free gifts from God. All we have to do is swallow our pride and accept them.
This Christmas let’s be thankful for The Gift that keeps on giving and giving. Every human being has a specially wrapped present this year, all we have to do is unwrap it!
(*) “The Prodigal Profit” by Timothy Keller