It’s Friday! This means that I don’t have to pack lunches for two whole days, woohoo!!!! It also means that it is She Shares Truth day….I know you are probably getting tired of me gushing about She Reads Truth but I guess you just have to deal with it, okay? 🙂 Hop over to their site for some amazing news!
This week we looked at Jonah 3 & 4 (you can read it here if you would like).
Jonah heads into Nineveh, gets about 1/3 of the way in and starts preaching God’s judgement. He tells them of God’s plan for the city if they continue their evil practices. They need to change what they are doing ASAP or else! Guess what? THEY LISTENED! The Ninevites change their ways, they tear their clothes, they fast, and they turn to God. The Ninevites changed their hearts and changed God’s mind (verse 10 in The Message) I don’t know about you, but to me that just overflows with hope! Jonah was able to see the Lord’s hand move in love instead of judgement. This sounds like a pretty good day to me.
Jonah has just experienced the grace of God in a HUGE way! For the THIRD time! And what does he do….he runs….again! He runs and sulks! There was no rejoicing in God’s mercy. There was no celebration of God’s grace. He went and sulked outside the city.
He tells God that he would rather die than see the Ninevites saved. That’s why he refused to go in the first place, that’s why he hid in the bottom of the ship (he figured he was dead anyway), that’s why it took him 3 whole days to cry out to God! He even says in verse 2 of chapter 4 “….I knew it- when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered; rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness!”
God’s grace is so deep we cannot even begin to understand it! His mercy is beyond compare! His love is unrelenting! He could have used anyone, but he chose to use Jonah. He pursued Jonah. And Jonah was blind to that pursuit. And Jonah’s heart was hard. Because the more I read the story of Jonah, the more I see that this story is bigger than a man who was swallowed by a fish, and about more than a city being saved. This story is about the contrast of our hearts and the heart of God. Our hearts are so hard. Our hearts need Jesus. And God’s heart is relentless in His pursuit to bring us to Him. His heart is soft toward us even though we are covered in sin. He wants us! He doesn’t just pursues us to punish us, He wants us to make Him change His mind. The hope that this brings is changing my world!
Listen to the words of this song; Hillsongs United Relentless and think of Nineveh. And think of grace. And think of mercy. And just try to fathom how amazing it is that God’s heart wants ours!