The account of Jonah is one that most people have heard from the time they were in the nursery. Though many times used as a way to warn of disobedience (which indeed was an issue for Jonah), this account is really a remarkable window into God’s beautiful, unbroken redemption story. Jonah was a strong-willed and prideful man whom God chose to use in the city of Nineveh. He certainly struggled with some heart issues as he felt the Ninevites deserved destruction and separation from God with no warning. However, this was not God’s plan. God called Jonah to give the city a message of warning, shining a light on their sinful ways and their ramifications, providing an opportunity for repentance and redemption. They reacted swiftly with full humility and sought God’s mercy, which he willingly provided.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.John 3:16-17
This passage in Jonah is a masterpiece of inspired writing that showcases the lengths God goes to in order to redeem the lost. He uses broken and sinful people to accomplish his tasks of great love and justice. He, in the midst of his judgement, provides mercy and grace for those who seek Him. His love for the people He carefully knitted together is greater than we can ever comprehend. God is the ruler over all things and we are sinful people born into a broken world. Even so, He chose to provide for the very sin problem that keeps us from Him. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, He offers us the redemption required to be in fellowship with the one true and holy God. As followers of Christ who have accepted this gracious and merciful gift, we are commissioned to go and share God’s plan throughout the world. What will your response be? Will you choose to faithfully go to God in prayer for the lost? Will you choose to give and provide for missionaries at home and abroad? Will you go and share the gospel with those around you or even far away? How will you carry out the commission that is for all Christ followers? These are questions we must ask ourselves daily as we strive to humbly grow in God’s mercy and grace.