Why Jonah Runs
Jonah 4: I knew you were sheer grace and mercy.
Jonah runs because he understands what God’s all about and because his heart doesn’t beat with God’s heart. He knows that in spite of the message of condemnation and destruction the Lord gives him to preach that the very reason he’s sent to Nineveh is that God doesn’t want to destroy that city at all. Here are the things Jonah knows about God: his attitude toward lost people is one of grace; he delights in being merciful, he’s not easily angered; and he’s rich in love toward the lost. Jonah also knows that when it comes to judgment God always stands ready to change his mind. Since Jonah knows these things about God and since he’s so out of sync with God, he’d rather be dead than be instrumental in God’s extending mercy to his enemies. Also, Jonah knows that many of his countrymen agree with him. Once people find out that Jonah went to Nineveh to warn them and that he’s instrumental in God’s deciding not to destroy them his life won’t be worth a plug nickel. It’s a miserable thing to be filled with hate and to be used as an instrument of God’s love. I see here that God loves the lost to the point that he’ll do almost anything to reach them. If he has to use a hard-hearted prophet and a big fish to do it, then that’s what he’ll do. If I’m going to be a partner with God in what he’s doing in this world, I’m going to have to allow him to love people with that kind of abandon through me.
Take Away: The Lord loves the lost to the point that he’ll do almost anything to reach them.
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