Monday, April 2, 2012

Jonah is not just a fishing story

Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals? (Jonah 4:11 NASB)

It is so easy to get fed up with the world around us, and to become angry with people who "wrong us". It is easier still to blame God and ask how He could let the world be so terrible. It is so easy to be like Jonah, and run away from dealing with the world, or at least certain people. But we have to remember that we are not called to live in isolation. We are called to live in the world, often among those very same people. We are to love and show mercy, especially to those who do not know Christ as Savior.

So... Where do we find strength to go, boldly, into the fire? How are we supposed to remember that the lost of this world are simply that... Lost? Jonah 4:11, God straight-up implores Jonah, that He sees fit to shower grace and mercy upon Nineveh and by extension, Jonah also.

Much like Christ on the cross imploring, "forgive them, for they know not what they do"... God is telling us to not withhold mercy and love to those who are are unaware of their need for Him. If we attempt to contain the glorious light of the gospel, and keep it hidden from the world, we cannot expect the world to become any different than it is today. We know that God will call to Himself, thus revealing His glory to, those who He will justify... but we also know that that effectual call is often channeled through the display of grace, made apparent in the lives of those who have been likewise called.

Jonah's life isn't just a great story to be told during children's church, it is a life that brings new life and a fuller picture to Paul's words to the Romans.: "For there is no distinction between Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him, for 'Whoever will call on the name of The Lord will be saved.' How will they call on Him whom they have not believed? How will they believe in whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!'" (Romans 10:12-15)

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