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Daily devotional, Uncategorised

September 22 - I knew that you are a gracious God

“That is why I made haste to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” - Jonah 4:2 

Scripture reading: Jonah 3:10-4:3

When we read this passage, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We might laugh because what Jonah says is so dramatic and silly. But we might cry because we also see a bit of ourselves in Jonah. Jonah is very angry when he sees that God has relented from the disaster He had planned.

When Jonah describes God’s character, he is quoting from Exodus 34:6. God described himself this way when Moses had come up Mount Sinai after the Israelites had made and worshipped the golden calf. At that time, God had revealed his patience and mercy to a very undeserving people. Jonah knew that! But this was different because these Ninevites weren’t Israelites; they were Israel’s mortal enemies. Jonah was not okay with his God showing mercy to his own enemies. As Hugh Martin notes, Jonah’s sin here is ‘pretending to be more careful of God’s glory, and more qualified to advance it, than God himself.’ Jonah wishes he could tell God what to do. Whereas Jonah was running from God in chapter 1, he now tries to run God!

God is bigger than we can fathom. We only have a limited grasp of His character. It is a marvellous thing to know that God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster.

Suggestions for prayer

Praise and thank God for his character, and for his patience and love towards us. Pray that we might have a right understanding and deep appreciation of his character.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

Daily devotional, Uncategorised

June 8 - Does God overdo it?

“…For she has received from the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.” - Isaiah 40:2b  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-5 What does this mean? It almost sounds like God goes overboard in dealing with His people’s sins. We know that sometimes parents are so upset that they lose their temper and go overboard in disciplining their children. Can the same be said of God? No! The word ‘double’ is to be understood figuratively. Isaiah tells God’s people that they have received more than enough for all their sin! But does this mean they’ve received more than enough discipline? Or does it mean more than enough grace and mercy? In a commentary on Isaiah, the Old Testament scholar, E. J. Young, tells us that this phrase can be interpreted either way. Strikingly the dilemma disappears if you understand that God's discipline is itself born of loving grace. Both interpretations then fit, hand in glove, with one another. The loving grace of God’s discipline accompanied by His mercy and forgiveness are more than enough for all our sins. Isaiah is teaching what the apostle Paul would one day echo in the words of Romans 5:20, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Rest assured that a Christian will never pay even once, let alone double for a single sin! Jesus paid it all! If God’s hand ever seems heavy on you, remember that His hand in your life of faith is always filled with infinite grace and love for you! Suggestions for prayer Thank God that He is faithful, and will not allow you to be tempted (or tested) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (or trial) will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank Him that He never loses His temper with you and that He measures everything out perfectly in your lives for your ultimate good. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at