Last weekend at Forward Hall we learned about a man named Jonah. He was a guy just like you and I. He was not a super-Bible-hero character who always made good decisions. He was a man. God gave him an important job to do and he responded by running 2,500 miles in the exact opposite direction! (He was running to Tarshish …hence the picture…thanks Laurie F!) He heard God’s instructions, did an about-face, and then FLED in the opposite direction! His journey away from God’s plan ended up being the vehicle that God used to continue working out His good plan and purposes…even despite Jonah’s running and disobedience.
What an amazing picture of God’s grace! Jonah was the un-deserved recipient of God’s love and power to save. He did nothing worthy of God’s favor, yet God showed him mercy and didn’t give up on him…even doing the miraculous in his life!
Do we find a love like that anywhere else in the world? Can we ever fully understand that kind of grace and compassion? Praise God for his incredible faithfulness to people!
We can learn so much about how we’re to treat other people from this example!
Psalm 145:8-9 says, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
What God did for Jonah, he can do for anyone…and we’ve got to get this message out.
There are so many today who are on “a journey to Tarshish” far from God’s good plans. If we’re honest, we’ll see ourselves from time to time on that journey as well! But God in His infinite love, grace and mercy is a God of second chances. God can do the impossible to save...and God is sovereign! God will work out His good plan…even when we run.
What does this mean for us? We’ll learn more about that this weekend.
I hope you’ve been encouraged by Jonah’s story. I’ve enjoyed the honor of preaching it to our church.