Jonah 1:1-4 (NLT)
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish. But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.
I know you’re probably thinking that this passage does not talk about God’s love for us but If you read it carefully, you will find out that it does. The entire book of Jonah is a wonderful demonstration of God’s love even in our disobedience to Him. Jonah, a prophet, received instructions from God, to announce judgment on Nineveh. Jonah decided that he didn’t want to obey God and instead got on a boat going to Tarshish. God didn’t allow Jonah to run from Him. He sent a powerful wind that caused a violent to storm to stop Jonah in his tracks. If you read the entire book of Jonah, you will realize the reason Jonah didn’t want to go Nineveh. He didn’t want them to experience God’s grace because they were enemies of the Israelites. Jonah had a heart issue.
Jonah experienced the greatness of God’s love in the belly of a great fish. God could have let Jonah go on to Tarshish and not complete the assignment but the love God had for people of Nineveh was greater than Jonah’s opinion about them, even if was true. Sometimes we forget that God still loves our enemies even when we don’t. God knew that they would repent and believe His word even though Jonah didn’t. God’s love extends to ALL who is willing to receive it. I know you have read that very statement many times throughout #SOAPLOVE17, but have you understood it yet? God can still do a transformation in the lives our enemies even when we have given up on them. God’s love arrested Jonah and locked him up for 3 days until he was ready to be released.
Have you been guilty of acting like Jonah? I can imagine we all have in one way or another but we have to remember that God’s love doesn’t show favorites. He knows who will accept it and who will not. If God is pressing you to do something, then for the love of God, just do it! We can’t be selfish or judgmental with God’s love us. We all have been in sin but we have been washed by the blood, which has made us clean again!
Father, please forgive me for not wanting others to experience your love, especially my enemies. Forgive me for judging what you are still perfecting. Help me to obey your instructions in all things so that the power of your love may be shown through me. In Jesus name, amen!