“And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” – Jonah 4:11
Scripture reading: Romans 3:23-26
What makes Jonah so angry is that God is not just showing mercy to any old city, but that He is gracious to Israel’s enemies. It is recorded in history that Assyria treated Israel horribly. No empire was as cruel and evil toward Israel as Assyria was. “God,” Jonah is saying, “You are not just sparing any empire. You are sparing an evil empire bent on destroying your people.”
God is a God of justice who hates evil. So how can He let these evil and violent people off the hook just because they repent? Does God then not care about evil?
We have the privilege of seeing history from this side of the cross. God’s justice indeed demands that every single sin is paid for. As we read in Romans 3, in his divine forbearance, God passed over former sins, to show his righteousness so that “he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (v.26).
All sins do get punished. No sin will be overlooked by God, whether big or small. But either the sins have been paid for by the Lord Jesus on the cross, or they will be paid for by ourselves in hell.
God does not violate his justice. But on that day of Judgment, mercy will be given to those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus. Praise God!
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord that He is both perfectly just and merciful and that He has provided a way of salvation through His Son.
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 NTGDevotional.com.