Jonah and Grace
Scripture Reading — Jonah 2:7-3:5
“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.”
—Jonah 2:8 —
Have you ever been in a situation where you just wanted to get out—to literally go the opposite way? That’s what the prophet Jonah tried to do.
God called Jonah to preach to the people in the city of Nineveh in the east. But instead he tried to run away as far as he could go to the west. (See Jonah 1.)
Jonah fled because he knew God is “gracious and compassionate” (Jonah 4:2). And Jonah did not want God to shower his grace on the people of Nineveh, a cruel enemy of his own people, Israel. He would rather see God destroy them. Jonah was afraid that if he preached to the people of Nineveh, they might repent and be forgiven, so he went the other way.
Jonah’s heart was out of line. He did not have God’s concern for the thousands of people in Nineveh. Jonah’s sin involved self-righteousness and pride—he thought he knew better than God. But God extended grace to Jonah—in the form of a huge fish.
What about you? Are you a moral, good, upstanding person whose self-righteousness is separating you from God? Which are you more concerned about—seeing your wishes and dreams fulfilled, or God’s? Can God count on you to carry out his will?
Lord Jesus, I confess that my heart is often not lined up with yours. Pluck the self-righteousness out of my heart. Forgive my disobedience toward you. I rest in Christ’s finished work on the cross. Amen.