BOTTOM LINE: Let’s Try This Again! Chapter 1:1-3 and 3:1-3 are almost the same verses aren’t they? Jonah gets another shot to be obeident to God.
QUESTION: Have you ever experienced Grace in your life, and then NOT wanted to extend Grace to someone else?
Regardless of how wicked the people of Ninevah were … it wasn’t justification for JONAH’S willful disobedience to God … and in reality … JONAH was really being a hypocrite wasn’t he? On 1 hand, he would say that he believed in God and God’s Grace & Love & Forgiveness … but his actions in this case were saying that he only believed that God’s Grace & Love & Forgiveness should only be allowed for certain people.
If JONAH wouldn’t have been so hard-headed and stubborn … he could have saved himself a lot of pain … and for us, not only do we have some amazing people in our lives to speak God’s voice of Truth and Wisdom … we’ve got these 66 books to help us avoid making some really painful and sinful decisions in our lives …
When we meditate on the Word of God … and we obey the will of God in our lives … then we can save ourselves from experiencing some of the discipline and consequences that coms w/ you and I choosing to walk away from God instead of with Him.
JONAH 3:5 … “5 The Ninevites believed God.”
They BELIEVED … and notice how it was clearly not JONAH but God’s Message that they believed! They knew this message was coming to them thru JONAH and from GOD … and not just some crazy guy who had spent 3 days/nights in a fish making this whole thing up.
How many of us have gotten some advice or wisdom from someone … but the truth is, was really nothing more than that person’s personal opinion? Now don’t miss this … powerful things happen when the principles to live by and the Truth and the Wisdom being poured into our lives is from GOD and not someone else, isn’t it?
If I ever stand up here and spout out stuff and it doesn’t line up w/ God’s Word … it’s not worth spouting … the Bible says if we can’t confirm it w/ God’s Word, than it’s what the Bible calls “False Teaching” …
We’ve got to be careful that we don’t buy into Personal Opinions … and instead buy into God’s Word … and if it’s from God, we better listen!
The Ninevites weren’t listening to JONAH … they were listening to God …and it drove them to repentance … if they had responded to JONAH, they would have responded out of Fear … but because they responded to God, they responded out of Faith.
1. God is COMPASSIONATE
God loves people … and God is always for people! He’s a merciful God, and God is committed to pursuing us! Our challenge is to never assume or take for granted His compassion right?
2. God Does Not Ignore Righteousness & Justice
God is always against SIN … He always judges evil … Yes, He loves us and He’s compassionate … but God does not ignore or overlook our sin against Him … If He overlooked our sin, then we couldn’t claim that God is for us … because we need Sin removed from our lives right? We need to be forgiven of our sin … and we need God to reveal in us those areas of flesh we need to prune …
God can’t dwell in our Sin … and our only HOPE is to be set free from Sin in our life … and that begins by God bringing our Sin to the surface and calling us to Repent!
3. God Does Not Desire Destruction
Good News for Us (and the Ninevites) Huh?
God’s desire is that we exchange our lives w/ the Life, Death and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus, and thru Jesus, we would be restored and made Righteous in His eyes.
The Bible says we are a new creation … and then we begin this process of pruning out the Sin in our life … because as we are made new in God’s Image … we know that Sin is not a part of His image …
And crazy as it sounds … God desires this for EVERYONE … even the worst of the worst … and the most wicked people on the planet … God desires for no one to perish … but for all to not only have Eternal Life … but to experience Abundant Life until He takes us home.