Today’s reading Obadiah and Jonah

Jonah 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah did not want to go and prophesy against the city of Nineveh because he knew too much about God. I am afraid that the majority of us know far too little about our God. Even those that are born again and attend church regularly seem to be confused.

Somehow the God of the Old Testament is painted as the God of wrath and law. The God of the Old Testament is angry and it is only in the New Testament that we see Jesus stand up and convince God to be nice. That is so far from the truth. God is the same always. He has always been the same.

By the way, Jesus and the Father are One. There is no difference in the character, heart, motives, love, etc. Jonah, in the Old Testament, knows that God will forgive the people of Nineveh before he ever leaves home. He knows that God is the kind of God to forgive if they will simply turn to Him.

Notice the beautiful things that Jonah knew about God. He knew that God was gracious, that means full of grace all the way back in the Old Testament and times of the law. He knew that God was merciful, full of mercy. He knew that God was not an angry God and fact is that God was slow to get angry and quick to forgive. He knew that God was a God of great kindness.

How do you know Him? How do you portray Him? Yesterday a man introduced me to another man and said; be careful with this guy he can call down fire from the big guy, pointing up! I quickly told Him that I was calling down grace not anger. But that is the opinion that people have of God.

Do you know Him? Do you really know Him enough not to be insulting Him?

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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