Merciful Do-Over

Read: Jonah 3:6-4:2

I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (v. 2)

I am always relieved when I am allowed a do-over; especially by my loved ones when I say or doing something that disappoints them. Jonah was given a do-over in a big way. God told Jonah to go to the sinful city of Nineveh to tell them to repent and turn to God. Instead, Jonah took a boat-trip in the opposite direction. So God, whose purposes are never thwarted, had a big fish swallow Jonah.

Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. He then called out to the Lord to deliver him—which God did by having the fish vomit him up on dry land. Jonah took that do-over and went to Nineveh. And through Jonah’s warning from God, Nineveh was also given a do-over. They put on sackcloth and fasted (even their animals), called out to God, and repented. When God saw this, he relented from destroying them.

Amazingly, Jonah was angry with God; he wanted Nineveh to be obliterated for their wickedness. But instead, because God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, he went to great lengths to give the city a do-over—even using a cantankerous prophet. Thankfully, God offers each of us a do-over when we respond to his steadfast love and turn to him. He mercifully forgives us and gives us new life. —Donna Harold

As you pray, thank God for the do-over he mercifully offers you through his steadfast love.

About the Author

Donna Harold

Donna M. Harold is retired from a career in accounting and consulting and lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and two cats. She serves as treasurer for her church, creates and facilitates Bible studies, and enjoys writing, mosaicking, and quilting.

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series God's Steadfast Love